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SWAT's Emma Lawrence in Basingstoke
SWATing up in Basingstoke
Around the UK, BBC Springwatch Action Teams are transforming unloved pieces of land into a nature area to be proud of. BBC Radio Berkshire have teamed up with Chineham Park Primary School in Popley, Basingstoke to help transform the school's grounds.
BBC Radio Berkshire is rolling up its sleeves and teaming up with 100 school children from Chineham Park Primary School in Popley, Basingstoke for a day of Springwatch activities on Friday 6 June.
An empty pond - soon to be filled
BBC Berkshire's SWAT coordinator Emma Lawrence said: "Our mission is to help the school complete a transformation in its grounds, which will later become part of an Environment Centra for the wider community of children, young adults and parents, and other members of the Popley community and local schools to use."
Chineham Park Primary School is a small school of 100 children, tucked away on the outskirts of the Basingstoke, sandwiched between the ring road and the main road to Reading. Yet it is blessed with a woodland environment - not only on its doorstep - but even within its grounds.
Already transformation work has seen the creation of nature trails, a science garden, a mountain bike trail, complete with lumps and bumps with a criss-cross trail and an outdoor classroom.
Headteacher Gwen Clifford
Gwen Clifford, Head Teacher at Chineham Park Primary School said:
"This is a really exciting opportunity to engage with Springwatch and help us to launch our extensive outdoor environment project here at school that we hope will benefit the wider community. The school is delighted to have this opportunity."
So what's in store for our SWAT team?
On Friday 6 June 2008 our SWAT team, made up of school children, teachers and volunteers, are taking part in workshops culminating in the building of a willow bird hide organised by Creative Willow and bug hunts organised by BTCV.
We'll be planting up a new pond to create a habitat for pond wildlife and tackling some overgrown vegetable beds to encourage insects but we hope slugs and snails won't be attracted to our new lettuces!
A plant bed or a weed bed?
The finishing touches will include laying wood chip paths, making nestboxes, bird feeders and log piles to create homes for mini-beasts to live in.
The SWAT team will also be helping to plant a wildflower meadow in Chineham Park, supervised by staff from Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, to launch a transformation in the local park which will continue with more activities planned for the autumn.
About the project
The day of Springwatch activities is driven by BBC Radio Berkshire in partnership with organisations including Chineham Park Primary School, BTCV, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Creative Willow, as part of a UK-wide initiative linked to the BBC's Springwatch campaign.
Over the weekend of Saturday 7 June to Sunday 8 June, Springwatch Action Teams across the country will transform 50 neglected spaces into breathing places for wildlife and people.
Want to get involved with Autumnwatch activities in Chineham Park?
The Autumnwatch tree planting party in Chineham Park will take place on 28th and 29th November as part of National Tree Week and you can get involved.
The party is looking for volunteers to help plant 2000 young trees running parallel to A33 to help make a difference to wildlife and create a shelter belt between the road and the park.
If you'd like to get involved contact Nicola Williams, arboricultural officer, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council: 01256 844844
Also, the Popley Conservation Volunteers are always looking at ways to make more wildlife improvements in the area and they are looking for new members. For more information and opportunities with other conservation groups in the area go to:
last updated: 06/06/2008 at 12:52
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