At last managed to get up to the school grounds to start tidying etc…

Monday April 12th 2021

Just returned from 2 hours watering,weeding and tidying at school.

First job was watering the 2 wooden planters and the remaining 2 flower pots at the front of school…

After locking up front gate I went down the road and into school grounds via the school field gate..

Pleasantly surprised in the school wildlife area ie pathways reasonably clear and area not too bad apart from massive amount of alexanders in flower everywhere😢

Decided to clear nettles,cleavers and alexanders alongside top pathway…also cleared patch of alexanders from just below far steps plus picked up lots of fallen branches and twigs and added them to various woodpiles ..

Picked up small amount of litter ie some from playground and some thrown over fence from the public footpath😡

Final tasks were to remove more alexanders from copse by wildlife pond,tidy around the outdoor classroom seating area near the pond and to tidy away canes,sticks and string from the nearby willow …willow was meant to be a dome but has ended up a curve with enormously tall willow trees🙂

Lots of lovely birdsong heard plus bees seen in the wildlife area this morning

Also crab apple,apple,plum and pear blossom…… seen included snakehead fritillaries ,hellebores,daffodils,honesty,celandines,primroses,bluebells etc….plus marsh marigolds in the wildlife pond

Pied wagtail in the playground probably enjoying the peace as it’s the school Easter holidays.

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Covid 19 lockdown restrictions and wildlife area work sessions

Since the first UK Covid lockdown restrictions alas our weekly school wildlife area work sessions have ceased…however I have managed to pop in occasionally to refill the bird feeders etc

Intentions were to do some tidying work within the school grounds during school holiday time or weekends …unfortunately this haven’t happened much especially over last Christmas and last week’s half term due to unsuitable wet and windy weather conditions ..

Hopefully Covid restrictions will ease over next few months and our team of volunteers will be able to return very soon for their regular Monday morning work sessions at school…looking forward to recruiting more school parents and grandparents to help us with our gardening work 👍🏻

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Stinging nettles removed from by pathways

Friday Sept 4th 2020

I went up to school for 2 hours work in the wildlife area after lunch …removed all nettles which were growing close to pathways and did some weeding ..the amount of clearance work needing doing in the wildlife area before Christmas will mean lots and lots of work sessions …I plan to try to go up to start the annual foliage  clearance work next week maybe  1 or 2 times  ie for an hour after school time at 3.30pm 👍🏻

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Getting ready for children restarting school next week

Thursday Sept 3rd 2020

Met Chris at school this morning as  arranged …we went into the school wildlife area where Chris kindly dismantled the broken seat shelter he made for us a couple of years ago …alas this time it was un repairable 😢

I was busy removing litter from the wildlife area plus discovered large pile of gardening waste dumped (by caretaker ?)which had huge amount of small pieces of plastic tape entwined in the greenery …not a good example when we’re trying to teach children to care for the environment😡 I removed all the plastic pieces (carrier bag full) and added the green waste to a nearby compost pile then informed school head about the inconsiderate mess which  had been left for me to sort again!

I also removed lots of brambles from small planted bed inside front gate of school and some brambles which were  overhanging in the  car park..

Daughter and I were at school last Sunday …I sheared grass on larger front bed and daughter watered both planters

We returned on Monday…I strimmed the front bed and daughter took 2 cart loads of large plant pots from the front of school to the wildlife area …via the road as the gate key pad not working 🙂

Took 2 large planted troughs home to weed and replant

NB Mrs  Thomas school head has understandably confirmed that due to Covid 19 restrictions our school wildlife area volunteers will still not be allowed into school when schoolchildren are present ie from next Weds when Autumn term starts …therefore I will have to feed the birds and do clearance etc work after school hours,at weekends  or during half term until the visitors in school restrictions are lifted.

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Covid 19 lockdown continues

Friday August 28th 2020

Day 158 of  lockdown …school is due to reopen for pupils again soon ie  Sept 9th…I really need to go up there before then to check the wildlife area is ok

NB Also  need to check with school head whether or not our wildlife area volunteers will be allowed to be back working in the school grounds again on Monday mornings once the children are back st school

Probably need a few work sessions before school autumn term commences to tidy the flower beds and planters at the front of school plus to feed the birds and make sure wildlife area paths are not overgrown etc


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Shearing grass etc and filling bird feeders

Sunday June 21st 2020

Just been up to school for an hour or so as still unable to be there when children present ie due to Covid 19 restrictions..

First job was shearing back the overgrown grass plus hawthorn and blackthorn on the front bed as you enter school grounds…looks a little tidier but still lot more clearing and weeding to do ASAP 🙂

Next to school wildlife area where I refilled all the bird feeders and swept all the benches and tables…

Finally  picked some juicy black ripe cherries from the tree behind our shed👍🏻

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Update re volunteer working in school wildlife area

Tuesday June 2nd  2020

I have continued to go up to school on occasions during lockdown usually on a Sunday with my daughter… to refill the bird feeders and water planted pots and troughs in wildlife area and at the front of school ..

Last Friday I contacted the school head to enquiry if our volunteer team could restart working within the school grounds again from June 1st when school due to reopens for staggered return of nursery, reception and Year 6 children…the head replied that although she wants us back doing our voluntary gardening work it’s safer not to return just yet ie understandably they want to limit the number of adults who come into contact with the children in school..she will contact me when it’s safe to return👍🏻

NB daughter and I did go up to school briefly on Sunday May 31st …we only had time to water the planters and pots at the front of school …alas main flower bed looking rather overgrown so next time will take some shears to chop down the long grass by the front fence🙂

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Updates re school wildlife area work sessions ….

Sunday April 19th 2020….day 27 of full lockdown

Covid 19 Coronavirus movement restrictions mean our Monday morning work sessions in school wildlife area are cancelled until school reopens …

Weds 18th March

UK gov announced schools would be closed from Fri 20th March therefore I contacted Colin and Chris to cancel our wildlife area work sessions until movement restrictions are lifted.

Sunday March 22nd

Jean and daughter Rosie went up to school to finish spreading pile of tree chippings along lower footpath in wildlife area…

Monday March 23rd

UK gov announced further movement restrictions ie closure of gyms,cinemas,pubs,theatres,shops other than food stores plus gave further instructions that wherever possible people must work from home and are only allowed to leave home once a day for walking and cycle exercise for an hour …

Sunday April 5th

Jean and Rosie went up to school to refill bird feeders in school wildlife area

Sunday April 19th

Jean and Rosie went up to school …refilled bird feeders again plus attached hose and refilled water butts plus watered planted pots,planters and troughs at front of school..







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Feeding birds,pruning and tidying,litter picking and spreading tree chippings…

Monday March 16th 2020

Glorious sunny and dry weather for our work session at school this morning…

I arrived around 8am headed to the wildlife area where I refilled all the bird feeders..Colin arrived in time to help me with mixing 3 tubs of bird food for next few weeks..

Chris texted to say he’d be late and then with apologies that alas he couldn’t help us this morning…

Colin and and I gathered tools and wheelbarrow and headed to front of school where we did some planned weeding and tidying until our very welcome lorry load of tree chippings arrived ..I had put an appeal on Teignmouth Oracle Facebook site last Weds and 2 companies responded offering to donate free tree chippings asap..

Devon Tree Services delivered a very much appreciated lorry load of conifer  tree  chippings which were tipped by the playground entrance gate to the wildlife area …👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

NB We really do have so many muddy pathways to cover at the moment we need at least another 5 lorry loads delivered ASAP please😇👍🏻🙂

Colin and I spent rest of work session moving about half of the pile of chippings using wheelbarrows,large bags and a super large shovel..we decided to cover the muddiest areas first ie by the shed,down the steps and the lower path by the ash trees👍🏻

During our well deserved coffee break we watched a colourful male bullfinch on the feeder by the lower pathway…also noticed the bluebells are starting to flower

NB I picked up at least 20 fresh empty  crisp packets and chocolate wrappers from near the field gate and shipping storage containers😡




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Feeding birds,recycling felled branch,removing brambles and alexanders etc

Monday 9th March 2020

Arrived school just after 8am… as usual began work by refilling bird feeders in and around school wildlife area plus cleaning bird poo off seating and tables …

When Colin arrived he went off to clear brambles from the planted slope near the boiler house steps…

Chris finished securing the “balance bar” in the copse by the pond…he made it from a large branch of a felled cherry tree..other branches were previously ie last year cut to size and made into step edges by Chris and Colin..

Chris then went off to help Colin clearing brambles when he’d finished the balance bar…

Meanwhile I spent rest of work session removing lots of unwanted alexanders and brambles from the slope behind the shed …really satisfying to get most of them out with roots attached..four more large bags of green waste added to compost bins from my efforts this morning!

Mr Ball brought a class of children down to explore the wildlife area this morning


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