Over the last two weeks our Health Group have been looking at the final stages of planning and beginning implementation of the Kenmore Community Learning Woodland project. Our last session looked at our dreams for the area. This is what amazing outdoor learning is going to look like:
This week we started plans for the pond area, looking at elements of resourcing, safety and biodiversity. The group looked at images online on how to make a pond, then discussed how we could get materials – the decision on safety meant a raised area that can be covered, but there was lots of discussion on how to sustain the biodiversity as well – “How will the frogs get in?” “Maybe a little door on the side?” “or ladders up?” “We’ll need lily pads for them to jump onto”…
Our old allotment sleepers are going to be repurposed for use as the sides of the pond and the group set to work in weeding and digging out between the two allotments. Lots of chat was had about the shape and size of the pond and how to move it from: “let’s have a square or the shape it is currently in” to “The teachers could just pick it up and move it…or we could unscrew it a little.”
A little more digging will be required…next time.
The Kenmore Community Learning Woodland is intended to be a beautiful, creative space that is accessible for community members of all ages to engage in learning and sharing a natural experience. The development of the area is hoped to build a sense of place and belonging in the community and to involve all in experiencing the benefits of well delivered outdoor learning opportunities.
It will be a space that is usable and sustainable, showcasing learning and participation. Wildlife areas, workbenches for outdoor science and art lessons, music areas and woodworking using pole-lathes and forest school tools, will bring learning and collaboration outside. An outdoor classroom, realised as a raised yurt, will invite small groups to talk, share and learn together, in a warm, dry and convivial atmosphere. There will be a community allotment where children can work alongside all members and ages of the community to learn skills, nurture produce and develop enterprise projects.
At a wider community level, the space will be aimed at supporting younger children and families to explore and engage with nature, be available as a venue for local groups to meet and share traditional skills and crafts, and be a haven for family and friends to come together to enjoy the natural beauty of our local area.