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Schools in Residence project - Day 1

On Wednesday 8th November, thirty children from the OWN trust schools began a twelve-month environmental project in association with Nene Park Trust.  One of the aims of the project is to encourage members of the wider community to access the Park.

The day began with a coach ride starting from Woodston Primary School, collecting ten children and two members of staff.  A small jump to Nene Valley and a further ten children and an adult joined.  Finally, the Orton Wistow contingent combined and they all headed off to Ferry Meadows.

First stop the secluded Nursery Gardens, we were the first schools into this area and the children began with a treasure hunt style plant search.  Did you know historically early Americans used blueberries with milk to make grey paint?  The children worked in mixed teams, one child from each school, so started to make new friends.

Next seed bombs!  Clay, mud and seeds – what could possibly go wrong?  In a classroom there would be mess everywhere – at the nursery it mattered not.  This was one of the favourite activities of the day.  Muddy hands and getting in on the action.  The clay keeps the seeds warm and safe until the spring when they can germinate. 

Muddy hands and getting in on the action.  The clay keeps the seeds warm and safe until the spring when they can germinate. 

Just before lunch, the word of the day coracle – which was important for the afternoon activity.  Also a few trips to the compostable toilet, which was a lot more pleasant that it might initially sound.

After lunch a small competition; boys v girls making willow fences.  Coracles, fences, baskets and cricket bats are all made from the flexible, lightweight wood – willow.  This was the opportunity to use a holer, a pair of secuteers and teamwork.  The girls took an early lead as the boys had to carry their equipment further, but they soon made a strong comeback, so both fences were very impressive at the end.

All the children had an amazing first day with huge smiles on their faces.  “magnificent” was the best quote and a great summary of the day provided by one child at Woodston.  Thanks to Vicky, Tom and Alex for delivering the content effectively and in a very fun way.  We look forward to the next trip in the Spring Term and building willow barriers at Nene Valley Primary.

You can find out more (and see some photos) about the nursery by using the links: Nene Nursery | Nene Park Trust or the trust newsletter OWN Trust - OWN Trust involved with the local horticultural nursery (