Mossgate School, Heysham www.mossgate.lancs.sch.uk

Lucky Mossgate School have large playing fields, with areas set aside as nature areas when the school was built 20 years ago. Latterly, there had been no management, so the new headteacher asked us to take a look. The pond area was very overgrown with willows, not retaining water and the well-constructed dipping platform was totally inaccessible. The willows were tackled with the help of a tree-surgeon, the dipping platform reclaimed and work started on the pond itself. Due to heavy rain the water levels fluctuated so we had to await the right moment to reline and replant, with the help of parents and teachers. Best time for pond work is late summer when the invertebrates have finished their breeding and we create minimal disturbance.

 

Another corner of their field was planted as a mini woodland. We took it onboard, making sure a small circuit was accessible for the children and expanded the area with new trees, donated by OVO through the Trust for Conservation Volunteers. All these young trees are native species so should give a much better habitat in years to come.

Bog garden
Watering bog garden
Jenny watered the bog garden.
Spring garden

The wildflower patch in the infant area is stunning in July and everything seems to be doing well. 

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Attempts to get rid of pondweed were not very successful!

New orchard area
New orchard area

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Apple tree
Apple tree

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Pete assembled  gates
Pete assembled gates

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New orchard area
New orchard area

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  A small orchard was planted and Pete constructed a gate for the infants' area.

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Planting trees provided free by OVO Energy and the Trust for Conservation Volunteers in National Tree Week 2019

After completing the pond restoration we started work on the new dipping platform, a further challenge!  This will allow the children to safely access the pond and learn about the beasties living there.

What's lurking in the bushes_
Bring on the digger!
Roll out the white liner!
Discussing the surrounds
Figuring out the measurements
Looks a bit complicated!
Clearing the surrounding area
Big logs come in handy
Separating pond from bog garden
Raising the flags
Cutting the liner to size
The water's creeping up!
Clearing the old pond
Mossgate School pond
Clearing the old pond of silt
We made a difference!
Dipping platform cleared of weeds
Pond wildlife!
Tree planting in corner of school field
Extending the copse
Handy shelter in copse!

The old pond was drained, halved with a dam wall to make a bog garden, and then relined and filled, with the help of some parents and teacher.

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