Hundreds of schools, communtiy groups and parish councils have received Wessex Watermarks, here are just a few of them...
DULVERTON MIDDLE SCHOOL received a £500 award to help pay for a waste and food thermo composter which works on the principle of self-generating heat – no power required. The school is growing and eating its own produce and this composter will play a big part in the process. The school is one of 6 sites within Exmore Nation Park that have a composter, and Sophie Hansen from the school said "the new equipment can process up to 150 litres of food waste a week to produce a high quality compost which we plan to use on the school gardens." Read more here.
SHERSTON PRIMARY in Malmesbury has received a Watermark Award to help create a pond and boggy area for its new wildlife area. The pond will be central to the wildlife area and is the second major development in the school’s new Environment Area.
The school’s Environment Area Group was established in November 2007 to provide additional outdoor facilities. The very first project was a Tree for Life, where every child planted their own sapling, which they will replant in a local protected wood. Since then the Group – made up of mostly parents and staff – has created an allotment which produces fruit and vegetables for school lunches, installed a camera and set up a bird watching group, and set up two wormeries with a kitchen waste digester soon to be put in use.
All classes have a variety of different projects and the school is part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s School Benchmarking Scheme, currently working on levels 3 and 4. Four pupils entered a national competition in 2009 to design a garden for the London 2012 Olympic Park, one of whom - Hannah Clegg – won the children’s competition, and has now completed the final design for the 2012 garden.
“It is important to introduce environmental topics as stimulating activities into regular school life” Crispian Huggilll parent governor and chair of the Environment Area Group said “so this Watermark Award couldn’t have come at a better time to help us begin the pond and bogland site. The children love their new wildlife area and with this support from Wessex Water we can develop the project further for future pupils to enjoy and learn from.”
The JURASSIC GARDEN at Milton on Stour Primary School received a £250 Watermark award. Great Crested Newts were discovered in the school garden two years agao and verified by Wessex Water who installed plastic sheeting to prevent them from going into the new water main. This new garden will improve the area for the newts as well as create a stimulating garden for the school. The plan is to plant the garden with old and pre-historic looking plants amd there will be a dedicated hibernating mound where the Great Crested Newts can live undisturbed.
Danesfield Church of England School’s woodland walk is already providing a great opportunity for discovery and exploration. “The outdoor classroom will mean we can use the natural environment as a teaching resource to inspire children about their environment and how they can help safeguard it for future generations.” Nigel Johnson, Senior Teacher at Danesfield said
“Nothing we teach about pond life and its environment could possibly be as riveting as watching tadpoles develop day by day into small frogs.” Steve Heath, Hemington Primary School’s Headteacher said. “Which is we are delighted that Wessex Water can support our efforts to build a dipping platform, the children will benefit enormously.”
North Cadbury Church of England Primary School received a Wessex Watermark to help restore its school pond. “We have taken advice from our local amphibian society” Anne Craggs from North Cadbury C. Of E. Primary School said. “The children are thrilled that their pond will once again be home to a variety of plants and pond life creatures – the most exciting of which is the Great Crested Newt.”
Selwood Academy in Frome has been asked by WISE – ‘We Inspire Sustainable Education’ to be a flagship school to promote sustainability in Somerset schools. Their old school pond has a small colony of great crested newts, challenging the school to create not only a water habitat for the newts but a terrestrial habitat too.
‘Access for All’ is the message of this group of active wheelchair users. The BACKWELL ACCESS GROUP has successfully campaigned to increase public access - not only for wheelchairs but for parents with prams and pushchairs - around Backwell Lake Nature Reserve. In June they celebrated their achievement with a £1,500 Wessex Watermark Award presented by Nick Routh, Wessex Water’s Estates Manager.
Here are: Ian Morrell (Nailsea Town Council) Andy Hull (BAG) Nick Routh (Wessex Water) Alison Morgan (BAG) Bob Taylor (Backwell Parish Council) Dinah Lake Lloyd (BAG) and The Conservation Foundation's Libby Symon.
The Lake attracts a large number of birds and in summer the dragonflies and damselflies over the water are breathtaking. Once the path is complete BAG (Backwell Access Group) is going to buy benches with the Watermark Award.
The TAWNY OWL PROJECT of Midsomer Norton received £400 to pay for the material that has built 51 tawny owl nesting boxes and sited them in 16 farms in the Cam Valley. The group has had a very successful track record doing this with Barn Owls, left, and continues its barn owl work plus the ‘Little Owl Survey’. A kestrel project is in the pipe-line..
RIVERFLY MONITORING ON THE LITTLE RIVER AVON received a £750 Watermark award to help the Riverfly Partnership Anglers Monitoring Initiative complete the training courses to monitor riverfly populations at a number of sites on the Little River Avon. This is an angler-driven monitoring scheme to monitor the health of the river they fish on. The Watermark Award will help buy the monitoring equipment.
EAMES MILL WOODLAND received a £500 Watermark award to make the Community Orchard happen for this project near Ilminster. The most recent Watermark award is for apple trees in the community woodland and orchard for which Wessex Water previously helped to to buy 200 trees, with stakes and ties. Next the group plans to place hives by the apple trees. Pamela Sellers said: “It is great to get this support from Wessex Water. We will use our Watermark Award to buy more trees, shrubs and the necessary shelters and stakes - and this will make a great start. Local volunteers will help plant and maintain the new woodland."
MY LIFE, MY TREE, GROWING TOGETHER received a £700 Watermark award for a primary school tree project which involves children leaning all about trees – visiting woodlands and planting trees. It’s having a big impact on Dorset rural schools with lots queuing up to join the project and many budding environmentalists in the offing. Read more here.
PRICKLES HEDGEHOG RESCUE in Cooper Close received £150 to help nurse back to health injured hegehogs in their purpose purpose built ‘Hogspital'. More than 175 hedgehogs have been resuced by the organisation since it opened three years ago. The funding will help pay for essentials such as medication, veterinary treatments, bedding and food. Read more here.
"Alice Park Community Garden is a really nice place to be” Christine Hart member of Transition Larkhall said. “More and more community groups like ours are coming together around the country to make gardens and allotments for the sheer delight and pleasure of being involved in producing something both beautiful and practical.
Dorset Flora Group’s popular week of walks is run entirely by volunteers and has been running since 2009. The programme of walks covered sites all over the county chosen for their exceptional botanical interest. “Dorset is a county which is rich in wild flower habitats,” said Robin Walls, Chairman of the Dorset Flora Group, “and what better way to attract people of all ages to the variety and beauty of these areas then to go walking with them. The weather was rather more challenging this year, but the walks continued