Thursday December 19th 2014
Just Rose and I working this morning-I filled the bird feeders around the school wildlife area then Rose arrived in time to help me sort the bird food containers in our shed ready for our next work session
Most of the morning we spent finishing weeding the large grassy area between the 2 main pathways-after the Christmas break we are adding more wildflower plants+scattering more wildflower seeds on this slope which hopefully will result in more wildflowers and therefore an increase in butterflies,bees and other insects
Mike arrived with some school Mums- from the Teignmouth Learning Centre-to gather materials for their Christmas wreath workshop-they took prunings from our holly bushes+Mike climbed into the fir tree behind the shed in order to reach for some more greenery cuttings….
After our 2nd coffee break Rose and I did more autumnal weeding ie further on below the far steps + Rose pulled out more alexanders!
Following the morning break Mr Ball brought down into the school wildlife area an excited class of children who were busily searching for small sticks for the “Kelly Kettle” ie lots of chat about heating water to make hot chocolate drinks!
Earlier lots of sounds of birdlife heard -we saw 7 magpies plus numerous blackbirds,robins,goldfinches,bluetits and a grey squirrel
NB Must contact Teign Trees re deliveries of tree chippings for delivery ASAP after Christmas as our muddy and slippery pathways urgently need making safer with a thick covering of tree chippings!!!
Wednesday December 17th 2014
Tomorrow Mike from the Learning Centre at school is running a Christmas Wreath making workshop similar to the one they did in 2013
Materials used will include greenery from the shrubs on the large perennial bed behind nursery and the Learning Centre plus some holly and ivy from the wildlife area
More info on TeignmouthLearning Centre facebook page
Monday December 15th 2014
At school by 8.30am began by filling most of bird feeders around school wildlife area-Colin arrived in time to help + Cath came to help as we were sorting bird food in shed
NB all 4 home filled coconut shell bird feeders I put out recently have been eaten/ emptied by the birds in the last week
Our next job was weeding and pruning on the perennial bed behind nursery and the learning centre-lots of buddleias,wild roses and goat willow pruned plus I also weeded out lots of dead foliage ie grasses and montbretia leaves-Colin did 3 trips and Cath and I just one trip to our compost pile at far corner of school field!
Lots more pruning,weeding and tidying needed to be done on this bed over next few weeks after Christmas holidays!
After a coffee break with mince pies supplied by Cath-Colin pruned an overgrown evergreen shrub just below the top path in the wildlife area whilst Cath and I weeded out more nettles,grasses etc from the large grassy area between the 2 main paths-am hopeful Rose and I will finish weeding this area on Thursday morning!
Not much time for bird watching this morning however we saw the usual robins,blackbirds,magpies,crows,collared doves and bluetits also after the children returned to classrooms after the morning break we heard a wren and lots of other birdsong
NB Pathways in school wildlife area are particularly muddy therefore will need to contact Teign Trees re some deliveries of tree chippings ASAP after the Xmas hols
Later Thursday December 11th 2014
Dull and showery weather this am-at 8.30am I began filling bird feeders around our school wildlife area -at 9am Rose rang to say she was at the gate with bird food she’d bought for us so I rushed to meet her with an empty wheelbarrow…
After sorting the bird food Rose and I did lots more weeding/autumnal clearing on the large grassy area between the 2 main paths-had to shelter twice in the shed from the rain iethankfully just about enough space for us to have coffee twice in the dry!
I collected 3 little 4 year old boys from Reception class to help me fill the last 2 birdfeeders-we also had time to go and look at the pond
An amazing variety of birds seen and heard this morning-female bullfinch, wren, bluetits, great tits, blackbirds,collared doves,magpies, crows,jay,goldfinches,chaffinches and robin
NB I reported to the caretaker a dying tree which needs felling plus also that the wobbly boardwalk by the pond needs repairing
Monday December 8th 2014
At school just after 8am as usual began by filling bird feeders around school wildlife area-soon Colin arrived in time to help me with feeding birds +sorting bird food in shed….
Next job was pruning buddleias + weeding on the large perennial bed behind nursery and the learning centre- I put 4 lots of buddleia cuttings in hopefully to fill some gaps and make more bushes for the butterflies!
Wheelbarrow load + 3 large bags of garden waste taken to compost pile in far corner of school field
Went to collect children from Reception class to help with bird feeders alas classroom empty so will try again on Thursday
Lots of blackbirds + usual friendly robin as well as collared doves, goldfinches and a grey squirrel seen in wildlife area this morning
Thursday December 4th 2014
At school around 8.30am began work near shed by picking up litter which had come from playground+retrieved various balls and discs which I left in bag near PE store!
I then went around the school wildlife area filling bird feeders- Rose arrived in time to help with sorting the bird food ready for next time+caretaker Mark kindly brought down our post ie a heavy box of peanuts for the storage shed…
Miss Salmon brought her class for a quick wildlife area visit as part of a literacy /Little Red Riding Hood lesson-children all had clipboards and were writing lots of words!
We next went down to tidy up the living willow dome which has been strengthened with hazel branches -Rose did a good job tying it all together to make it more secure.I brought 4 watering cans down and watered the dome plus the recently planted hollies and the roses in pots
Rose and I spent the rest of the morning weeding and tidying on the large grassy area between the 2 main pathways
I stopped to help when 5 two year old nursery children with a member of staff came to help me with filling the last 2 bird food trays+also gave them 5 large fir cones to see and hold!
As usual on a Thursday morning during our work session after the morning playtime Mr Ball brought down Year 4 class -all having fun searching for small twigs again I think?
Friendly robin very close during our coffee break +whilst we were weeding and uncovering insects and grubs
Grey squirrel around leaping from tree to tree also spotted were 6 magpies and a few blackbirds
Monday December 1st 2014
At school by 8.15am began by starting to fill various bird feeders around school wildlife area as usual-Colin arrived to help about 30 minutes later
Decided to use the large hazel branches we cut recently to make a strong barrier at the edge of the copse by the pond ie to protect the new hollies and the fritillary flowers which bloom in the springtime
Nigel arrived to borrow his shovel from the shed so he helped Colin and I with the hazel barrier-we then stopped for an early coffee break and catch up-this time I remembered the flask!
As Nigel left Cath arrived to help- she did more weeding/autumnal clearing on the large grassy area between the 2 main paths whilst I used Nigel’s fishing net to sieve out lots of duck weed from the pond
Meanwhile Colin using a rake and large garden fork moved all the dead flag iris foliage from the pond side-we had left it there for a couple of weeks after it was cleared from the pond by Andy Bakere from Devon Wildlife Trust ie so that any pond creatures could hopefully make their way back into the pond!
Went twice mid morning to collect children and staff from the nursery to help with filling the last 2 bird feeders alas no one in nursery so must have been in main school – will try again on Thursday
At least 8 noisy magpies in wildlife area this morning-collared doves, woodpigeons, blackbirds and robins plus a grey squirrel also seen