South Moreton Eco News
ECO Schools November and December update: November was a particularly busy ECO month for South Moreton School. The Eco Warriors carried out an environmental review which highlighted the areas we need to concentrate on in 2017, such as the possibility of using more recycled resources within school, checking toilets for water saving devices, buying Fairtrade food and other products where possible and recycling bins outside. A major concern of all the children was the amount of traffic and lack of parking for the school, the ECO Council want to look into ways to reduce the transport issues. The Eco Warriors also carried out a classroom audit, in preparation for “Switch off Day”, where they checked what was switched off, left on standby or turned off. Switch off day was on November 25th, and when we didn’t turn on lights and used only minimal electricity all day, each class did some project work to do with saving energy. The aim was to remind children, staff and parents of all the ways we can save energy. We also held an after school “garden clear up” working party for children, staff and parents to try and prepare the garden for winter, we shall hold another one in the early Spring so watch out for a date and come and join us! Two children from each class in the school volunteered one lunchtime to carry out a soil survey to launch our “What’s Under Your Feet” campaign. We had to remove grass from a 30cm square on the school field and identify, count and measure the creatures we found and send our data to The Pod. The idea was to find out why some areas in the UK have a larger bird population than others by looking at their food sources. We have 2 more soil surveys to do in 2017. We will also be using our bird hide to observe our feathered visitors! The new bin has been positioned and hopefully we can order another along with some much needed bird feeders.
2017 promises to be very exciting for us with the RSPB’s “Big Schools Bird Watch” in January, launching our ‘Helping Hands” campaign in the local community, Waste week and many more exciting events and campaigns. Check out the 2016-2017-year planner and the minutes from our ECO meetings! For more details and the minutes from our meetings log on to our School Web site, or visit the Pod at http://jointhepod.org/home.
This little baby hedgehog was discovered by children on the field, it was obviously frightened so it was decided to put him in a warm, safe place and then take him to a rescue centre where they could assess his needs and reintroduce him to the wild again in a safer or at least less noisy place! Mr Mean took him to Little Foxes Wildlife Rescue, based in Great Milton, but their hedgehog specialist lives in Uffington, which is where he delivered him to.
Also this month we voted in our new Eco Warriers, (see link) and held our first meeting (minutes). All the new warriors are fantastically enthusiastic and full of ideas. Their unanimous over arching concern is with Litter around the school and a general lack of concern for their surroundings by some pupils. To action this we decided all Warriers will be “Litter Leaders” for 2 weeks to try and make pupils aware of where litter should go and the dangers to the environment it represents. Mrs Smith has agreed to the Warrier’s wish for more bins on the field. We decided that on our next meeting we will plant some new plants and tidy up the quiet area. The money for the plants was raised by last years Eco Warriers holding cake and snack sales in partnership with Sally! So well done to them as we had £80 to spend on plants to encourage birds and butterflies to the area.
There were many other things raised so watch this space!
The planting of new plants in the quiet area and general tidy up went really well, the Warriers worked so hard to choose good places for our new plants and dig the extremely hard soil. I must remember to bring them a drink and treat next time! We just didn't have enough time to do much weeding, only around our new plants! It soon became obvious to us that we needed more help, the area needs a really good weed and tidy up as does the sensory garden, so the Warriers thought we should organise a working party... maybe ask parents for help. They also realised that we really need at least one water butt inorder to recycle all our lovely rain water.
Also a big thank you to Billy who has been raising money for animal and bird food by mowing lawns, we invited him to join us at the next meeting to thank him and ask if he would like to help sort a Rota for putting out the food, he very kindly accepted! It was Billy’s Grandad who kindly built the wildlife area and bird hide, he also checks on the area from time to time and thought he may have seen signs of hedgehogs so maybe that is where the baby came from rescued last month! Unfortunately Billy also updated us that there sadly are some diseased trees that need removing in the area.
On the Agenda for the next meeting is to discuss the possibility of joining the Eco Schools new initiative… “switch off Fortnight” and become involved in the project to help the "British Trust for Ornithology" find out why some British birds are in decline. We have signed up to What’s Under Your Feet to be a part of this exciting nationwide experiment, where we have to be scientists and carefully analyse soil samples! For more information about both of these log into http://jointhepod.org/home. We will also be discussing roles for the Warriers including added responsibility of writing pieces for the website!