Help transform overgrown land into outdoor classroom

An overgrown area at Larwood School in Stevenage

There are plans to clear the pond - Credit: Stuart Jacobs

A school is appealing for help in transforming an overgrown area on its site into an outdoor learning environment "to excite and engage children".

Prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown in March last year, Larwood School in Stevenage had started work on an outdoor learning garden by clearing shrubs, saplings and thorn bushes.

Unfortunately, the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means the area is once again overgrown and the school is appealing for help in tackling what has now become a mammoth task.

An overgrown area at Larwood School in Stevenage

The area has become overgrown - Credit: Stuart Jacobs

Teacher Stuart Jacobs, who is part of the school's outreach team, said the finished facility will be made accessible to other Stevenage schools. He said: "The outdoor learning area is designed to provide children with a unique learning environment that will bring their curriculum to life.

"The pond will be transformed to allow pupils the opportunity to pond dip and explore what nature lies beneath the water. There will also be bug hotels, hedgehog huts, squirrel drays, bird feeders and boxes, bat boxes and more to excite and engage children. A sensory garden will provide unique engagement for our pupils and an area which many will find calming and relaxing.


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"We also aim to create a team-building area which will encourage children to work in partnership with their friends to complete mental and physical tasks.

"A nature trail will unite all the different areas of the garden and again provide pupils with sensory input that will enhance all aspects of written learning, spanning all subjects.

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"The area was cleared in the summer of 2019, with the pond drained in December 2019, providing a blank canvas for landscaping and design.

"Sadly, the COVID-19 lockdown paused all activity and, as you can see from the images, the areas have once again become overgrown. We need help to cut back overgrown thorn bushes, cow parsley, young saplings and general weeds.

An overgrown area at Larwood School in Stevenage

Can you help clear the site? - Credit: Stuart Jacobs

"I’m hoping to create a blank canvas again, so when we return to school in September we can develop the area and complete the project.

"Having lost so much momentum, we are now in a position to get the project back on course but we need help."

If you can help, email stuart.jacobs@larwood.herts.sch.uk

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