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Digging deep – Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust help with pond makeover

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An overgrown school nature area was given a makeover by staff from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust today, assisted by members of the School Council.

The environment area at Slimbridge Primary School had become overgrown during the Covid Pandemic, so staff from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Slimbridge donned their wellies and rolled up their sleeves to clear the pond.

Slimbridge School 3 of 4 | Digging deep - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust help with pond makeover
Regan McDonald, 9, with Sue Belej, Learning and Engagement Manager at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

“It’s really important for children to have a chance to connect to nature, to actually get hands-on and investigate and learn a little bit more if they can, because a lot of children nowadays miss out on that opportunity. Having this here at school is amazing,” said Sue Belej, Learning and Engagement Manager at WWT.

overgrown pond | Digging deep - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust help with pond makeover
The environment area at Slimbridge School before work began. Picture: Sue Belej.

“Seasonally it’s the right time to clear it out and then it’ll give it chance in the spring to come back to life and some of their creatures like damselflies and dragonflies to move in so the kids can discover them,” added Sue.

Slimbridge School 4 of 4 | Digging deep - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust help with pond makeover
Dorothy Andrewartha and Kayla-May Anderson with ‘Maison Bugs’.

WWT staff worked with the children to make a mini beast hotel to attract solitary bees and ladybirds, and a larger ‘hotel’ for frogs and toads.

The next stage of the ongoing project will take place in the spring when native plants will be added to the pond so pupils can do pond dipping and mini-beast hunts in the environment area.

Slimbridge School 1 of 4 | Digging deep - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust help with pond makeover
Pulling together: lifting a large log into the environment area.

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