With over 10 years of experience I have now teamed up with Angus Fitchet and Rick Saunders to take on larger projects, which involve teaching, working with the children to improve their outside environment.
The aim is to enable more teaching to take place outside, to make children more aware of the environment around them and to use it wisely for work, rest and play.
We have been creating Live Willow structures to include play and learning with tunnels, fences and domes. Tepees large enough for a whole class and villages of smaller ones. Seating and activity chests from recycled wood.
A boat called "Salty", which we rescued and renovated for the children to use for story telling and adventure.
We restore and renovate school ponds, which includes my teaching rsource pack and teaching adults and children to use the pond for learning in many ways, such as art, science and identification.
We also look at safety and risk for schools and children need to take some risks when growing up, but we must always be aware and teach them how to deal wiht them.
Raised Beds designed by Angus Fitchet using the children's adeas and plans.
The children will grow vegetables to make soups to sell and are compiling a recipe book with illustrated recipes to use in school.
To enhance the barren area the children will create mosaics of wildlife, fruit and veg to fix to the walls around the garden.
In The year 2000 I drew up a design, management plan for the new school grounds at Milborne St Andrew and have been co-ordinating the grounds and teaching environmental education and art as a specialist teacher ever since.
We started with 40 volunteers planting 400 native trees donated by the International Tree Foundation to create a native hedgerow around the perimeter, which could be used in as many curricular subjects as possible.
Kingston Maurward College students built us a large wildlife pond, which has proved a fantastic resource giving the children an insight into freshwater ecology (pond-dipping). The pond is thriving despite being built high up and on a bed of chalk and we have a large population of palmate newts and 1000s of tadpoles.
The pond is in a large fenced off area, which is off limits to the children unacompanied, there is a bird and butterfly area, a bird hide, Willow tunnel, a coppice area and lots of wild flowers, though these have proved hard to keep as strong grass species disperse from the fields and take over.