NATURE reserves don’t just need to spring up in flooded mine workings or woodlands.
Many Wigan schools have valuable areas of rough land surrounding football pitches or playgrounds and now a ground-breaking scheme is under way to help them become super rich in wildlife with comparatively simple techniques to encourage nature to reclaim the perimeter outside the classroom as a potentially rich learning resource.
A pilot scheme is under way at Aspull Church School for the new Bio-School Programme.
Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust is joining forces with Lancashire Wildlife Trust to roll it out across the borough.
At Aspull the pupils have started the transformation by installing rotting log piles in the school grounds, planting and developing wild flower areas and, with the help of teaching staff, constructing and then strategically positioning bat and bird boxes.
Bio schools will encourage the use of school grounds and local countryside to teach and learn about biodiversity by developing habitats in and around the campus.
WLCT Biodiversity Development Manager Graham Workman said that school grounds across the borough can provide an ideal opportunity to introduce children to the natural environment.
Many can become a fantastic facility for environmental education that complements classroom-based activities and biodiversity connects and interlinks with all the environmental strands that, when drawn together, characterise a healthy and caring school.
Mr Workman said: “Working with the staff and children at Aspull Church School has been a real delight. It is so rewarding to see them connecting so easily with nature within the school grounds. We have other plans for the grounds that will make them even more exciting for the children ... so the message is watch this space!”
l Contact Mr Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org