After two years of hard work by staff, children and parents at Abbey Meads Primary School, the pond and wildlife area in the grounds has been completely redeveloped.
Led by teacher Tracy Dangerfield and teaching assistant Jo Woods, the project has seen a total transformation of what had become an overgrown wilderness.
Jo said: “Three ponds were made on the hillside when the school was built in 1999, on a natural streamline from St Andrew’s Ridge.
“By 2015 they were lost in the undergrowth and we decided to renew the area so that we could offer a much better curriculum environment to study nature.
“Wiltshire Wildlife Trust provided advice before the school was built and again helped us develop a plan.
“Volunteers from Nationwide did an incredible job strimming down and removing a huge quantity of vegetation.”
Pond specialist Aqueous were brought in to dig out and line the ponds, and Newson Interiors built paths, pond dipping and viewing platforms, as well as an open-sided timber outdoor classroom.
In mid-June parents, staff and children were joined by representatives from Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre for tours around the pond area before taking part in nature activities on the school field.
Jo added: “We were amazed how quickly nature rediscovered the ponds after all the disruption. We were thrilled to see frogs, toads and newts return to our beautiful wildlife area, and bumble bees buzzing around the new plants put in by parents.
“We’re now using the outdoor classroom regularly for our forest school activities and outdoor learning. The whole area is stimulating the imagination for all the children.”
The project was funded by the school governing body and the Friends of Abbey Meads School.