Preparation for the Outdoor Classroom and Wild Area
Early Autumn Term 2020
Our pond area was full of long grass and brambles.
Everywhere was covered by thick vegetation.
Our decking area was surrounded by weeds.
A large amount of garden waste had piled up.
There were no signs of life in our pond.
Our pond had a thick layer of algae on it.
Items from our old Sculpture Trail needed to be removed.
The tin robots had all gone rusty.
The apple trees were lost amidst the long grass.
The fruit from the trees could not be easily harvested.
The wooded area was inaccessible.
The far end was overgrown with brambles, nettles and long grass.
A pathway was cut to reach the far end of the orchard.
It was difficult for our learners to access this area.
The Pond Area
The grass was cut back around the pond.
The fencing and gate were painted.
The algae was removed from the pond surface.
A frog now has somewhere to swim and catch insects.
The decking rail was painted.
Weeds and brambles were removed.
The area behind the decking was cleared.
The brambles along the neighbouring fence removed.
Foliage was removed to allow the fence to be painted.
A temporary bench was placed near the pond .
The grass at the near end of the orchard was cut.
The bushes along the stick fence were trimmed.
The area behind the garden waste heap required clearing.
The pond fence is now accessible for painting.
Old wood and garden waste were separated.
The near end of the orchard takes on some new features.
Stick piles have been created for small animals and insects.
Some larger sticks have interesting shapes.
This area was cleared to house a water butt.
Larger logs, branches, and sticks can be used to make dens.
Early design for a frog hotel.
A young frog is nearby in the pond water.
The last section of pond fencing is painted.
An apple tree is supported with rope as it has become badly lopsided.
The base of each apple tree is cleared of grass.
The area is then covered with home made leaf mould.
Outdoor tables are constructed for our outdoor classroom.
A builder's tray is filled with earth and stone ladybirds.
A bug hotel is constructed beneath some hanging foliage.
A water butt is installed and filled with water.
Pine cones, horse chestnuts and sunflower seeds to explore.
Large and small pumpkins are on display.
A space was cleared to house our new wooden playhouse.
Our new wooden playhouse arrives and is mounted on pallets.
The roof is painted and sealed to keep the rain out.
The floor is painted to help preserve it.
The stripes are also painted.
It is ready for our learners to visit.
A wider path is cut using garden shears.
The apple trees are now more visible at the far end.
The grass beneath the bushes is cut.
The long grass at the far end is cut using a pair of garden shears.
The grass grows back quickly but looks nice and green.
View from the far end looking back. Chopped up pumpkins are left out for animal / bird food.
Late Autumn Term 2020
A blackbird is eating the leftover apples.
The pond has frozen over for the first time this winter.
Frosty cobwebs decorate the gate.
Hoar frost covers some bushes.
Construction begins of a new 'Hide'.
Pliable sticks are used to weave the front.
Wild birdseed is placed on top of the Hide.
Mint is discovered growing at the front of the Hide.
The wooded area is ready to explore.
The trees will offer shade in summer.
A bush is removed that is growing from beneath the decking.
An abandoned wasp's nest is removed from beneath the decking steps.
The wooded area is cleared to make a play space for our learners to explore.
Sticks and twigs make a new feature.
A small covered bird feeder is brought into use. Wild birds need extra food over the winter months.
Another bird tray has a mixture of wild bird seed and broken up fat balls.
The deep dark woods.
We're going on a bear hunt!
A heap of garden refuse makes a natural home for hedgehogs.
The far end has some new features.
The smaller bird feeder is stationed in the pond area.
Bird houses are situated in the Orchard to encourage smaller birds to nest this Spring.
The Hide was made from the metal frame of an old swing that had become embedded in the earth.
The old swing is laying on it's side and supports the roof of the Hide.
The last of the apple / fruit trees to be rescued.
There are thirty apple / fruit trees contained in the Orchard.
A closer view of the Hide.
This is the view from the inside.
A new and interesting space has been created.
A view from the far end near the wooded area.
The bracken underfoot makes a lovely crunching sound when you walk on it.
After it has rained you can smell the earth and trees.
The late afternoon sun casts a beautiful light over our orchard.
The near end is the hub of the orchard. Activities are set up here for our learners.
These sticks can be used for various activities.
The latest version of our frog hotels.
The Orchard in Action
Harry is returning from a visit to the far end of the orchard.
Now Harry is exploring the old wood pile.
Noah has found a large walking stick and is ready to explore.
Kallum has found a large stick and is discovering how heavy it feels.
Kallum steadies the paper with one hand while doing his bark rubbing.
Sonnie is exploring the texture of the bark.
Jacob is filling up his saucepan using a large metal spoon.
Now Jacob is collecting some apples.
Noah is collecting fallen apples and placing them in a container.
Harry is digging in the leaf mould heap.
Sonnie enjoys pushing the large wheelbarrow.
Jacob is placing the apples he has collected on a tray.
Jacob has been busy making individual apple pies.
Sonnie fills his wheelbarrow with long sticks ready for transportation to another site.
Sonnie is placing apples on a tray.
Kallum is also placing apples on a tray.
Harry tries our new wooden playhouse out for size.
Jacob is making a stew. Harry waits his turn to add something to the mix.
Kallum must stretch up high to reach the apples on the uppermost branch.
Now Kallum is making a bark rubbing from an apple tree.
Jacob is holding a pine cone.
Now Jacob is holding a pumpkin by it's stalk.
Noah is doing a bark rubbing using a crayon. It makes an interesting pattern on the paper.
Harry is holding the crayon sideways with both hands. This gives maximum coverage.
Noah is placing apples on a tray.
Sonnie is about to step inside the new wooden playhouse.