In September 2015, Llan Dragons chose setting up a new sensory garden that would attract more birds and wildlife into the school grounds as one of their goals. We applied for funding from the Welsh Assembly under a community grants scheme but were unsuccessful. So pupils reviewed their plans and decided to do it in stages as we could afford it. Their participation in the Keep Wales Tidy Litter Less project raised £250 for an environmental project in school. Almost £180 more was raised by a cake stall to sell off the wonderful entries to the Llan Dragons Healthy Eating Bake Off contest.
So a plan for phase one was born and a site for the new garden chosen at the front of the school. In the summer term, pupils chose sites for bat boxes, two different types of bird boxes and insect hotels. They also planted hardy and sweet smelling shrubs such as lavendar and rosemary, and worked extremely hard to clear the former garden behind the portacabin, including moving good soil from disused planters.
The local Brownies and Rainbows packs, which meet at the school, are also getting involved by taking over a pots area in the garden. Parents have contributed by donating plants and compost was donated by a local building supplies firm. A big thank you to all who have helped us!
This school year, Llan Dragons are working on Phase 2 to create a focal point rockery, new bug hotel and wildflower planting to attract butterflies. Dragons have written letters and emails to a host of national and local companies for donations - with success coming with small donations from Wilkinsons, Wyevale Garden Centre and Travis Perkins. We are still having talks with a supermarket chain to see how they can support the project. Next school year, we aim to create new pathways, seating and we even have plans to make some outdoor musical instruments from recycled materials!