Wildlife garden officially opened
A new wildlife garden designed to bring pupils closer to nature has officially opened at Berwick Middle School.
The nature trail, garden and outdoor classrom have been developed in conjunction with Berwick Holiday Park.
With help from holiday park staff and caravan owners, the children have made log piles, a beetle stack, bug hotel and a bee B&B. They also spent a lot of time hand-painting nature signs and made some bird boxes as gifts.
Kaitlyn Mather, Rebecca Adelston and Maddie Thomas explained: “It all started with a competition at the start of 2016. Having applied for and received a grant from Northumbria University to develop an eco-friendly garden, we were asked to come up with ideas for a design for an area of the school grounds which was full of weeds and rubbish. Lots of work had to be started straightaway to get rid of all the bracken and nettles.
“Brian O’Brien, from Berwick Holiday Centre, and Derek Russell, from Berwick-upon-Tweed Community Development Trust, judged all the entries. They found it very difficult to find one winner so they chose a few designs and then we combined some of the features from each to come up with our final plan.
“Once the area was cleared, Mr O’Brien, along with some of his staff and the caravan owner’s children, helped to create the paths which we lined with stone donated to us by Hutton Stone.
“After that we started to plant lots of trees, shrubs and plants which we knew would attract different kinds of wildlife. Lots of seeds have been planted too.
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“To help us watch the wildlife without disturbing it, Mr and Mrs Russell helped us to make a willow dome which we can hide in whilst we watch what is going on.
“Already, we have had a couple of young deer come to visit. Bird boxes and lots of homes for insects and little creatures have been built including Bugingham Palace and Logpile Lodge!”
They added: “We still have lots of work to do but are really pleased with our garden which we want to use as an outdoor classroom.
“To help make this possible, we have a seating area of log stools which have been provided by Goswick Golf Club.
“The Parent Teacher and Friends Association (PTFA) have also raised lots of money to help us buy a special camera system to relay images from the garden into our classrooms so that we can always keep an eye on what is going on.
“We want to thank everyone who has helped us create a great place to learn.”