Monday September 29th 2014
I arrived school 8am began by filling our bird feeders around school wildlife area as usual…
Nigel came for a quick visit alas still unable to help us regularly yet-gave him bird feeder to take home for repair!
Cath and I then went to work at front of school she planted 7 foxglove plants and I planted 18 violas in bed and planters. After watering the new plants + other recent new planting we then started to weed the bed just inside the car park
Cath took a wheelbarrow full of ivy,dandelions and unwanted self seeded tree saplings to compost pile at far corner of school field
After our coffee break I collected 3 children from Year 1 class to help with filling last 2 bird feeders-they were eager to help asking lots of questions !
Cath and I then took the children for a quick tour of the wildlife area – Cath showed them where badgers have been digging along the pathways in search of worms slugs ,insects etc .We saw and heard a variety of birds + looked at apples on trees ,rose hips and most interesting of all looked under a plastic sheet and a stone + into several compost bins where we found worms,woodlice, slugs,ants and a selection of other small insects
Lots of birds around in wildlife area this morning ie wood pigeons,blackbirds + our usually friendly robin which follows me around our project site as I fill each bird feeder!
Also seen were a small flock of goldfinches possibly with a few siskins high in the poplar tree near the pond + a sparrowhawk flew overhead
A grey squirrel was seen moving through the tree tops around the wildlife area this morning
Thursday September 25th 2014
At school for 8am started by filling bird feeders around school wildlife area
Lady from Teignbridge recycling came into wildlife area with Mr Ball to discuss composting around the school grounds-Mr Ball is planning for the children to be encouraged to help ie by adding raw fruit and veg waste to our large compost bins
Miss Lilley brought her class into the wildlife area to do some literacy work
I’d taken 4 plant pots+ some compost and some viola and bellis plants up to school-used a bag of soil donated by Colin,mixed it with some homemade compost in the wheelbarrow and then three quarter filled the 4 pots.Next I added some daffodil bulbs -donated last year by local shop-then topped the pots up with the potting compost I’d donated before planting the pots with some violas and bellis daisy plants
Took pots in wheelbarrow to front of school -after watering they were placed on front bed around light post-5 pots of roses removed and taken back to wildlife area for pruning ,repotting etc
Rose arrived to help – later than usual after oversleeping!
She and I watered the planters and pots + recent wallflower planting etc at the front of school
Sharon arrived to join us – back to the wildlife area for our coffee break then all 3 did some pruning along the top pathway ie behind the benches
After the morning break I collected 5 little girls -all eager helpers- from reception class to help with filling the last 2 bird feed trays by the shed-we also took a little walk along the top path in search of out friendly robin which all the children were excited to see as he moved through the nearby shrubs…
Monday September 22nd 2014
Arrived at school before 8am with extra provisions ie biscuits,cold drinks and flasks of coffee for the team from our local Waitrose who we were expecting arriving to help us-alas around 8.30am received phone call saying event will need to be re scheduled due to staffing issues-so 2 flasks of coffee shared between Colin and I plus 2 school workmen and finally my next door neighbours!
I began as usual by filling bird feeders and sorted bird food for next time then watered plant pots near shed-Colin arrived to help just before 9am so next we took the wheelbarrow and tools etc to the front of school…
Cath arrived shortly after ie in time to help me plant more wallflower plants this time on the 2 beds by the front gate whilst Colin pruned the escallonia on the bed in the car park.Later I watered all the planters and pots plus newly planted wallflowers and perennials at the front of school whilst Cath and Colin finished the pruning plus took the garden waste to compost at the far corner of the school field
NB still more tidying to do at front of school ie pruning back ivy + pulling out more of the several hundred self sown tree saplings!
Next back to the wildlife area for a well deserved coffee break-lots of wildlife around ie grey squirrels,blackbirds, robins,wood pigeons, magpies,wren,bluetits,goldfinches, chaffinches and greenfinches plus speckled wood butterflies
Went to collect children from reception class to help filling with last few bird feeders-however they were just about to go in assembly so have arranged just to collect them on Thursday this week
Lots of signs of recent nocturnal visits by local badgers ie numerous holes dug along our tree chippings pathways where badgers dig when searching for natural food ie worms ,slugs etc
Thursday September 18th 2014
At school 8am -began by filling bird feeders around school wildlife area then sorted bird food ready for school children coming to help later in morning-this time all classes from nursery up to Year 6 are taking turns…
Also watered seat planter by classrooms-need to take more cuttings from the variegated hebes in this planter
When Rose arrived we went with tools and plants etc to front of school to work on flower beds-in the bed by the school kitchen we weeded out more ivy+tree saplings before planting 3 packs of wallflowers plus a dozen more perennials-
After watering in new plants we watered planters and pots then started to work on the other bed by the school gate ie weeding and starting to add more perennials
Back to wildlife area for late coffee break-our friendly robin joined us landing about a foot away on my trolley handle!
Rose carried on with more weeding whilst I went to collect 4 children from nursery to help fill last 2 bird feeders….
Mrs Webber and I took the children into the wildlife area where I showed them the mixed seed,sultanas,suet pellets and sunflower hearts
Alas I discovered the bird feeders I usually leave for the children to help us with are far too high for nursery children and reception+Year 1 children to reach!!!
However have since sorted problem as two bird feed trays on trees near shed can easily be lifted down-so next time I’ll be more organised….
Monday September 15th 2015
At school for 8am I began by filling bird feeders around school wildlife area +sorted bird food ready for our next work session on Thursday morning
Next task was watering the pots of tree saplings,perennial and wildflowers near the shed
Colin arrived 8.45am we took wheelbarrow,garden bags and tools to front of school and began working on large bed by school kitchen
Lots of weeding of dead foliage+pulling out ivy and ash tree saplings etc Colin did a great job re heavy pruning back the escallonia and blackthorn
Cath arrived to join us around 9.30am -after 2 and a half hours work think we had achieved about 12 large loads of garden waste which we transported to the compost pile in the far corner of the school field!
Colin also watered the planters,pots etc at the front of school
Hopefully we’ll finish weeding at the front of school on Thurs then maybe plant some more perennials,bulbs and wallflowers in the gaps?
Lots of blackbirds, a great tit and friendly robin seen in wildlife area this am plus Cath spotted a male and female sparrowhawk over the school field
Thursday September 2014
At school for 8am -I began by filling bird feeders near shed then to front of school to water planters and flower pots-thankfully new tap installed on nearby school kitchen extension!
Colin arrived around 8.30am he went to finish filling the bird feeders whilst I stayed at the front of school till 9.10am attempting to recruit new parents and grandparents for our school wildlife area team
Alas not very successfull though there’s a possibility a few might be able to help occasionally…
Colin and I spent morning pruning back overhanging brambles along the path by early years plus weeding and pruning at the front of school-lots more weeding and then planting still to do asap
Wheelbarrow load +2 large bags of prunings taken to compost pile at far corner of school field -then I discovered the wildlife area keys were missing!
Retraced back to front of school searched flower beds where I’d been working then back to corner of field where thankfully I found the missing keys amongst the bramble prunings – panic over….
Back to wildlife area for late coffee break then to front of school to meet Charlotte Barnaby from Waitrose-gave her guided tour of our school grounds +wildlife area-she is hoping to bring a team of Waitrose staff to help us with a mornings work on Monday Sept 22nd
Lots of butterflies in wildlife area plus robins,blackbirds etc around
Mr Ball and Mrs Frost brought a class down to explore the wildlife area late morning
Thursday September 4th 2014
Teignmouth Gardening Club had an interesting talk this evening about the work of Devon Wildlife Trust -our speaker was Andy Bakere who is responsible for several DWT reserves including Chudleigh Knighton and Heathfield
Andy has offered to come to our school wildlife area with some other helpers -possibly in October -to assist us with some wildlife pond maintenance!!!