We have worked on this site since 1985 and it has been amazing to see the changes over that time.
The school are very fortunate to be the custodians of one of the few small woods in Morecambe and although it has the name ‘Great’ , it has never been very much larger than now. Old alder trees made up the woodland site when we first took it on but any understorey was grazed by the donkeys, who over wintered in the fields surrounding the wood and school. Since 1985, housing was built in these fields threatening encroachment into the wood, so we stepped in to fence the site, plant hedges and start work on regenerating the whole woodland. Many of the trees were coming to the end of their lives and we have planted oak and alder as the upper canopy. These tolerate the very wet conditions and will live for a long time after we have all gone! In addition willows, hazel and in particular, holly now form significant understorey which is fantastic for nesting birds and small mammals.
In addition to the wood there is an adjacent pond with dipping platform and we have also planted many trees around the school grounds. These are now creating quite an impact.
A recent project has involved the school in creating a wildflower meadow in the school grounds involving both the children and ourselves. Their passion for their natural environment and the importance of plants and growing food has extended to working with us on our station site at Bare Lane. They have grown vegetables from seed in the classroom to plant out in their dedicated planter on the station and also in planters in the school grounds. Great cooperation and vital for the future of our planet to harvest the enthusiasm of the young people.
The reception children grew pea and bean seeds to plant at Bare Lane Station. As ever, they did a fantastic job and joined us on 21st May to plant them in their dedicated planter, on Platform 1. This year the school created a pictorial montage, painted by many different children from across the school. It shows flowers and wildlife explaining the link between our pollinating insects and the food that we grow.
On the 21st the young children unveiled a professionally produced board of the montage which should withstand the ravages of wind and rain. The link between our Conservation Group and Great Wood school has been going for a number of years with the participation of the children in the Station community project and our work in their school grounds.
The message from the children to Bare Lane passengers ‘Pick our peas and beans for your dinner - when they are ready!'
Click and drag the following photos around for a closer look - double click to enlarge!
Planting our anniversary tree at Great Wood School...
Our anniversary tree is 3 years old in this photo!
And now it's 10 years old!