The Beeline Project
How it all began
One very cold, blustery morning in November 2010 our pupils set out on an epic adventure. Accompanied by teachers, support staff, parents and grandparents they visited every house in their local neighbourhood. Their aim was to deliver native daffodil and bluebell bulbs to around 1500 homes. This was just the start of the project ‘Making a beeline to conservation’.
The aim was to provide early nectar for bees and other pollinators such as butterflies to help them through the precarious weeks before the majority of Spring plants begin to flower. This was all part of the project to help children understand the connection between nature, their environment and their ability to really make a positive contribution to conservation.
The first bulbs were bought for the project, which was funded by the National Lottery. Subsequently plants were grown by the children from seed donated from neighbours and other donors such as the Bumblebee Conservation Society . The £10000 provided by the Big Lottery also paid for a poly tunnel, a potting shed/outdoor classroom and a fabulous wildlife pond. All these structures including the willow tunnel on our website home page were installed by the The Conservation Volunteers assisted by enthusiastic parents and helpers.
Barratt Homes turned a very plain and somewhat tatty roundabout into a wildlife haven by adding nectar rich plants and shrubs to provide cover for the insects. The children had to do a lot of watering in the early days but now the plants are established we can all appreciate them as we come into school each day.
This is a sustainable project and is still in full swing with children now growing plants and vegetables in their allotments and picking fruit from the apple trees in the orchard. There is also a wild patch, which no one is allowed to enter so we can protect small animals and insects from interference. A spiritual garden has also been developed to provide a quiet place for children to just sit peacefully for a while. The pond is home to lots of wildlife including frogs and newts as well as giving shelter to dragonflies and damselflies. The willow tunnel is growing very well now and will be re-woven this year. This is another opportunity for the children to get involved in an outdoor activity that is both fun and educational. Once again the children will be growing seeds to provide plants for the May Fayre, which they will be giving to the local neighbours to continue the beeline. The butterfly garden has been extended and contains lots of special places for birds and insects to hibernate over winter and nest in the Spring. We hope the blue tits will come back this year after a successful brood of 6 little ones! And of course we will be entering the Hanham in Bloom competition, which we have won for 3 years running – the pressure is on!