School grounds services

Education

Cheshire Wildlife Trust's School Grounds Services

Make your school grounds a haven for wildlife.

School children learning about upland ecology as part of Flora of the Fells day, Helvellyn, Lake District NP, Cumbria - Peter Cairns/2020VISION

What we can offer

Here at Cheshire Wildlife Trust we offer a School Grounds service. We offer this provision to support schools in providing safe havens for wildlife where native species can thrive, whilst also engaging pupils of Cheshire in their Core Curriculum and Foundation Subjects through outdoor learning.

For each of the following School Grounds Services, we would welcome pupils to be involved at every step. If we are planting an orchard, sowing a wildflower meadow or installing a raised pond, where we can do this and make decisions alongside a class, Eco-team or school council, we encourage this as it promotes youth stewardship for wildlife. Read on to find out more about the services we can offer. If you don’t see what you envisage for pupils and wildlife on our list, please contact us and we can discuss what bespoke options we can put together for you.

Services we offer

Site visit (Coming soon)

Do you know where to start with your desire to transform your school grounds? We can help at the start of your journey. Cheshire Wildlife Trust will come to your school and advise you on work that can be completed to transform your school grounds into nature friendly, recommending the best sites for each plant species, and assessing what wildlife currently resides on your grounds and in your school’s local area.

Cost: FREE!

Orchard Planting

An orchard is 5 trees – or more! We will create an orchard in your school grounds, this can be a mixture of apple, pear, plum and cherry trees. Access to fruit grown on site can provide many meaningful, hands-on, cross-curricular learning opportunities: imagine your pupils completing descriptive writing during English lessons under the blossom in Spring, weighing the fruit and comparing in Maths in the Summer and Autumn, tallying the birds that visit each fruit tree, and studying the process of a flowering plant from pollination to fruiting.

Cost: From £125 for the trees + £225 for half a day planting. Tree planning can be a Guided Session with a class of 30 at your request.

Orchard

Wildflower Meadow

Is there a section of your school ground that gets little integration into regular academic life? Perhaps a strip of the sports field is seldom used? The Cheshire Wildlife Trust propose that infrequently used grassy areas are transformed into a stunning wildflower meadow. Our team will turn over an agreed area of ground with a rotivator, and can either sow seed themselves or with groups children. Native wildflower seeds will be used, mixed with sand to make sowing easier for the children. Core curriculum and Foundation subject links are abundant – as will be the wildlife! Come the Summer time, pupils can study the reproductive parts of native wildflowers and compare them, hunt for the array of mini-beasts that will be attracted to the wildflowers, and marvel at the beautiful colours that arise in the natural world when given a little helping hand.

Cost: From £0.45/m2 + £320 for ground prep. Note: the ground preparation cost is lowered significantly where the equipment costs can be shared between multiple local schools. We recommend partnering with a neighbouring school to lower the cost and create x2 or even x3 wildflower meadows in one day!

Wildflower meadow

Pond Creation

A school pond can attract wildlife to your school grounds. We teach pupils that all living things need water, so let’s put it in our school grounds! Cheshire Wildlife Trust School Grounds team can excavate a new pond, line it with sand and then a suitable liner. The pond can then be planted up with low maintenance native species to encourage local wildlife. The Cheshire Wildlife Trust team are happy to discuss the option of installing a safety grid and fencing. This investment will give pupils, for many years to come, the opportunity to study an alternative habitat and associated species on your school grounds.

Cost: From £875. The final stages of the pond creation – filling with water and planting – can be can be a Guided Session with a class of 30 at your request.

Note: if you already have a pond and it needs some maintenance, contact us and we can quote for necessary updates to make it work for you and your pupils.

picture of a pond

Small pond, created to encourage wildlife at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, Lampeter, Wales, UK. June 2011. - Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION

Raised Pond (Coming soon)

If a dug pond doesn’t appeal to you because you don’t have the appropriate space, installation and planting of a raised pond might be an option for your school. A raised pond will provide insects with a home, attract amphibians such as frogs (as a dug pond would too), and provide an exciting, hands-on learning space for every school day.

Cost: From £750. The final stages of the pond creation – filling with water and planting – can be can be a Guided Session with a class of 30 at your request.

raised pond

Images taken for the Wild About Gardens launch 12th March 2019 - false

Nature Friendly Compost Set-Up

Why would a compost heap be beneficial for your school? There are 3 benefits of installing compost heaps: on site management of kitchen waste lowers the school’s carbon footprint; mini-beasts will love decomposing natural materials, giving your pupils a large range of creatures to study in their science lessons; plus, the created compost will be free of cost and free of peat – saving the school money when it comes to enriching the soils on site and saving our planet’s precious peat bogs. Cheshire Wildlife Trust will source, construct and install the recycled plastic compost bins at an identified 

favourable site on your school grounds, and leave materials guiding the future minimal management required.

Cost: From £300. Once compost bins are installed, the Cheshire Wildlife Trust team can deliver a whole school assembly on the grand opening of the compost heaps, informing children about the many benefits their compost heaps will bring to local wildlife, and the contribution to whole planet’s health!

compost

Raised Planting Beds

Teach your pupil where food comes from by installing raised beds for planting vegetables in. The raised beds will allow pupils to access the planting easily. Why not talk to us about putting in a root window? That way your pupils will see the germination process in detail.

Cost: From £250 each 1m by 2.5m raised bed. Once the raised beds are complete, the Cheshire Wildlife Trust team can deliver a Guided Session on local food and planting with a class of 30 at your request.

Raised Beds

Outdoor School Shelter (Coming soon)

An outdoor school shelter can take learning outdoors in all seasons, in any subject. Let your teacher’s creativity take their class on an exciting learning journey that is not hindered by the weather.

Cost: From £1500

Outdoor seating area

(c) Emma Ackerley

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