Twycross House School regenerate their school grounds and pond with solar power
09 July 2012
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The school registered for the Eco-Schools programme in October 2005. In November 2005 the environmental group carried out an environmental review and following this decided to focus on Biodiversity.
The school pond had been neglected for a number of years; the water quality was poor. The whole area surrounding the pool needed attention to turn it into a wildlife area where grass would be allowed to grow and wild flowers encouraged. It was felt that the pond was an under-used resource for the school and the local wildlife
The aim of the project was to install an oxygenating pump to improve the water quality and renovate the general area around the pool. Also the biology department wished to establish a baseline survey of the flora and fauna currently established in the wildlife area.
Delivering the project and linking it to the curriculum
Work then took place to clear and dredge the lower pond area first. Bark was laid on the step area to make it safe.
Once the area was cleared the solar panel was installed and connected to the solar powered pumps by the physics master: one pump for the waterfall and the other for the lower pond.
The area is used in curricular activities including biology, science, maths and geography.
Getting the pupils involved
The initial clearing began with the environmental group, who were working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award, and then more pupils and staff became involved.
The school decided to apply to the Currys Switched on Communities Programme for funds amounting to £915.84 to purchase solar panel/pumps. We were successful in our application.
The school realised that there was a difficulty because of the distance from the pond to the nearest mains supply. We decided that the installation of solar-powered pumps would be a solution to the problem.
Benefits of being an Eco-School
The area has been of benefit to both the school and the local wildlife. It also provides a greater use of school grounds.
It provides a pleasant area to sit, read or relax at lunch breaks. It is expected that there will be a greater improvement in biodiversity in the wider school grounds as the marginal meadow areas develop.