St Mary’s pupils create sensory garden and wildlife sanctuary

St Mary's Garden SUS-160119-145708001
St Mary's Garden SUS-160119-145708001

Young residents of St Mary’s School and College at Bexhill have been working hard to transform an old pond area in the school grounds into a wildlife and natural sensory garden for children and students to use.

Their plan was supported by Adam Davies, of the St Mary’s Care team, who helped them with drawing up plans and organised a shopping trip to B & Q, where the children chose plants they thought would do well in the garden and gardening equipment.

They started with the herb garden. After smoothing out the soil they planted chives, mint, a curry plant a lemon plant and parsley.

Potatoes have also been planted and the school is hoping for a good crop later this year.

There will be pots full of sensory grass, this grass is especially soft and you cannot cut your fingers on it like normal grass. The children will be able to walk along and feel the grass on their fingers.

The garden will also contain hanging baskets full of lavender plants, so pupils can smell and touch the lavender. This will also encourage butterflies and bees into the garden.

The garden already has an apple tree a plum tree a grapevine and a bay tree.

The next job on the list was to make a hibernaculum; this is a place for creatures to seek refuge over the winter months and for insects to hibernate in.

The children decided to place the hibernaculum near the pond so the frogs and the newts could take shelter.

They cleared the ground and dug a hollow in the soil. A pallet was then placed over the hollow leaving a gap big enough for the creatures to get in but small enough so that predators cannot get in.

Next the pallet was covered in woodchips and a newly bought wheelbarrow was used to transport the chippings from the pile to the Hibernaculum.

The work was carried out by children and young people who reside at North Lodge living area at St Mary’s.

Work is still ongoing and the children are looking forward to the summer so they can use the garden in the evenings.

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