School Autumn half term break….

Monday Oct 24th + Thursday Oct 27th 2016

Cancelled our work sessions this week due to wet weather on Monday + urgent home improvement preparation tomorrow ie Thursday!

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Refilling bird feeders+watering, weeding ,pruning buddleias and nearly squashing a frog….

Thursday October 20th 2016

Lovely sunny dry Autumn morning -I arrived at school by 8.20am and began by refilling all the bird feeders in and around  the school wildlife area…

Rose arrived to help at 9am -she brought back several peanut feeders which her husband Brian has kindly repaired for us…

Rose spent the morning busy watering all the planted pots by the shed + she pruned back lots of the nearby buddleias.

I watered the recently planted cuttings in the willow dome near the wildlife pond then spent the rest of the morning weeding a large area on the grassy bank between the 2 main paths-I accidentally stood on a large frog which was hopefully unharmed-I rehomed the frog on the steep slope below the shed…

Our work resulted it at least 6 more large bags of garden waste being added to our composting area in the copse near the pond 

Other wildlife seen this morning included a pair of squirrels and a few blackbirds


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Pond boardwalk repairs ,composting excess pond plants + feeding birds

Monday October 17th 2016

Colin ,Chris and I were working in the school wildlife area this morning-before Chris arrived Colin and I refilled all the  various bird feeders in and around our project site…

Chris had brought tools from home which he used whilst he was making repairs to the wildlife pond boardwalk-thanks Chris great job the boards are once again more secure to walk on…

Meanwhile Colin and I were working nearby moving the huge pile of flag iris Chris pulled out of the pond last week-with Colin doing most of the heavy work  the pile was soon moved onto the nearby compost areas…

We next enjoyed a well deserved coffee break on the seating on the top path-however although the weather was dry and sunny we’ve had a substantial amount of rain over the weekend so we decided to pack up and head for home an hour earlier than usual!

Earlier the nursery class children and staff came down to explore the wildlife area then later a member of staff working 1 to 1 with a child also spent time in the wildlife area looking and learning about the wildlife and planting-our project site is such a good resource for learning about the outdoor environment…

We saw several speckled wood butterflies, magpies  and a robin this morning.

Next Monday weather permitting  Colin and Chris are going to prune the beech tree and native hedging near the pond area


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More back breaking work…..

Thursday October 13th 2016

Arrived at school to find all the prunings and chopped back shrubs on the garden by the boiler house had been moved-soon discovered  they’d been rehomed in the wildlife area in a huge pile behind our shed….

After refilling all the bird feeders in and around our project site I decided my main job was removing the prunings etc to a safer place so spent about an hour or more carrying this garden waste down the steps ie about  10 trips -so it’s now stored in a less hazardous place behind the ash trees near the lower path!

I also was able to dig up lots of plants and shrubs from by the boiler house ie near the steps -lots of variegated hebes,holly,sweet williams etc now repotted and well watered until we find them a new home-perhaps in beds at the front of school!

I also took lots of cuttings from the perennial purple flowered wallflower -hopefully some of them will root….

The nursery children and staff came down walking through the wildlife area this morning.

Alas I was too busy for any wildlife watching this morning -though did hear lots of birdsong…



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More voluunteers today=lots of work achieved….

Monday October 10th 2016

Whilst waiting for Colin to arrive I watered some of the planters at the front of school…..

As we went through the school grounds to the wildlife area Colin and I spotted that lots of the shrubs on the bed by the steps near the boiler house have been heavily pruned back-I checked with the school head and this garden area is to fenced off  for safety reasons  so we set to and removed lots of shrubs and perennials from under the pruned branches for planting elsewhere-hebes,geums,globe thistles,perennial daisies etc etc

Chris D arrived and as planned went down to start clearing most of the flag iris from the wildlife pond -the excess iris have been left on the pond side- until we add them to the compost bins next week- so that mini pond creatures can escape back to the pond.

Also lots of the duck weed scooped off the surface of the pond + Chris came across a frog in the pond!

Meanwhile Colin was busy refilling the water butts,watering the plant pots near the shed and filling all the bird feeders in and around the wildlife area whilst I had a meeting with Mike re an update about TLC…..

Colin, Mike and I took a wheelbarrow load of rescued plants round to the front of school where we replanted them in the 2 beds in the carpark-ground extremely dry so plants were well watered in.

During our coffee break later on we saw 2 grey squirrels moving through the trees below the  lower pathway.

NB I again watered the recently planted willow cuttings ie where Chris repaired the  willow dome last week 

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Feeding birds,pruning,clearing undergrowth and watering

Thursday October 6th 2016

I began by filling all the bird feeders in and around the school wildlife area + I watered the seat planter by the classrooms.

Rose came to join me at 9am -she watered the  newly planted  willow saplings  ie where Chris repaired the willow dome on Monday….

Next Rose pruned back the buddleias near the outdoor classroom seating whilst I cleared the undergrowth where the fritillaries will bloom in the springtime..

We  both worked together re propping up the bramley apple tree which was leaning over the pathway again-now has 3 props!

Nursery children and staff came down to  explore the wildlife area-super noisy this morning so possible scared the birds away….

After our coffee break we packed up and headed back to the front of school where we had time to water all the planters and flower pots

Grey squirrel busy earlier in the wildlife area looking for food + we had a friendly robin watching us work!




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New volunteer Chris starts working with us ……

Monday October 3rd 2016

Colin still away so I went straight to wildlife area and began work by re filling all the bird feeders around our project site

At 9am Chris D a school grandad arrived to start his first official work session as a new member of our volunteer team…

During a reminder tour of the school wildlife area  I pointed out some of the long overdue jobs we need help with asap..

Whilst I did more autumnal clearing Chris was busy tackling repairing and planting jobs….

His first job was repairing a broken bench top along the top path-we now have a longer and sturdier seat-rotted  wood with nails added to the skip at front of school!

Chris also did a brilliant job replanting about a third of the willow dome which had been damaged – now due to the seat being moved close by the dome the entry to the circle of willow has been moved…

Chris used prunings from the living willow which he replanted,tied in and watered plus I put marker canes in to deter further damage whilst the cuttings are getting established…

NB Must remember to water in the new cuttings every week….

Chris is coming prepared next Monday to clear about 90% of the flag iris from our wildlife pond

Finally Keith the caretaker used his wheelbarrow to transport 2 large boxes of bird food for me ie from the office to our shed.

Wildlife seen this morning included a grey squirrel,wood pigeons, blackbirds  and numerous speckled wood butterflies


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