It’s never too early to foster a love of wildflowers and an appreciation for their many merits, and we were thrilled to recently receive an update from our friends at Wordsworth Primary School in Southampton, Hampshire.
Towards the end of 2016, Wordsworth Primary School in Southampton was the recipient of funding from the Heritage Lottery Funded biodiversity project, Polli:Nation. (Polli:Nation is a fantastic UK-wide initiative supporting pupils from 260 schools to turn their school grounds and other local walk-to spaces into pollinator friendly habitats.)
A portion of the funding received by Wordsworth Primary School was set aside for a small wildflower meadow project at the school (approx. 18m²) with the objective of enhancing the school’s Nature Zone.
Steve Bowles, the school’s Outdoor Learning teacher researched the project and then contacted Wildflower Turf Ltd. It was decided that Wildflower Turf Native Enriched would be a great fit for the project and the turf was laid by the school’s Tough Mudder Rangers (students from Year 6) in February 2017.
By May of that year a stunning display of colour was in evidence. Children, parents and staff were so impressed by the wildflower meadow that it was decided to double its size and funding was obtained from the Wordsworth School Association, with an extra 16m² of Native Enriched turf laid in February 2018.
During the summer of 2019, the school’s wildflower meadow was the focus of a number of projects on pollination, with the outdoor learning opportunity afforded by the meadow enhancing the children’s learning.
The wildflower meadow particularly impressed the judges of the hotly-contested ‘Southampton in Bloom’ competition and Wordsworth School was awarded a Gold certificate in both the ‘Wildlife Garden’ and the ‘Garden for Learning’ categories and was the overall winner in the ‘Garden for Learning’ category.
Wordsworth School beat off stiff completion from schools all over the city because of its exciting programme of outdoor learning which every child in the school participates in. The school’s Nature Zone includes a pond, an area of woodland and a wildflower meadow which the children have developed and maintain themselves.
Head Teacher, Rick Page, said ‘We are committed to our outdoor learning programme here at Wordsworth. There is nothing more important than an appreciation of the environment and we are delighted that Southampton in Bloom recognises the important work we are doing here’.
As well as practical turf-laying experience and meadow maintenance, students from the school have also benefited from the wisdom bestowed in the book ‘How to make a Wildflower Meadow’, written by our very own James Hewetson-Brown.
If you are a school or educational institution and would like further information on how you too can help to enhance your own learning environment with wildflowers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing: [email protected].