The large pond at Park Hill Junior School in Kenilworth will be restored to its former glory thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund.
The Park Hill School Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) has been awarded £3,640 in funding to carry out restoration on its large pond so that it can continue to offer a range of habitats that increase local biodiversity while providing an important educational resource for the children in the local community.
When the Park Hill PTA recently held a Ground Force Day to tidy up the school grounds and bring the pond back to life, it found that there was a tear in the membrane of the pond and that it would need replacing.
Working with the school they have decided that they would like to bring the pond back to life and make it more accessible to the whole school and wider community but lacked the resources to do this.
With the award from the Green Shoots Fund, the PTA plans to remove the existing pond and fencing and clear out the overgrown plants. In its place they will create a new pond with a decked viewing platform, plant some new native plants and install a new fence and gate to keep the area safe and secure to be enjoyed by generations of young people to come.
The ambition for the new pond is to encourage the gradual reintroduction of biodiversity – aquatic, bird, insect and small mammals – to the school site in a way that supports the local environment and facilitates learning for Kenilworth children.
Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: “Ponds are incredibly rich in biodiversity, often being home to many rare species, such as water-violet, true fox sedge and medicinal leech. Relative to their size, ponds hold a disproportionately high level of species richness, and often more biodiversity than larger ecosystems such as rivers and lakes. They are, however, often undervalued and overlooked as a habitat.
“With this in mind, it is fantastic news that the Park Hill School PTA are planning to use their Green Shoots Funding to revamp their pond, creating a beautiful outdoor space that Kenilworth children can enjoy and learn from for generations to come.”
Sara Hattersley, Chair of the Park Hill School PTA, said “The Park Hill pond is a much loved feature of our school grounds, enabling children from our wider community to enjoy and learn from it. Our school families worked really hard to clear the area and identify the problems. We are truly grateful to Warwickshire County Council for the funding which has enabled us to restore the pond to its former glory and reintroduce biodiversity back into the school grounds. This is a wonderful example of partnership working and we are looking forward now to a future where the pond is a central part of children’s experience at school.”
At the start of the 20th Century, there were an estimated 800,000 ponds in Great Britain, which declined to 200,000 by the 1980s. Pond creation and management has increased since then, and there are now an estimated 478,000 ponds in England, Wales and Scotland, according to the Freshwater Habitats Trust.
The £1m Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund is allocated by Warwickshire County Council and supports a wide range of small, community-powered initiatives across Warwickshire in addressing the climate change emergency.
More information about \Park Hill School in Kenilworth can be found online: https://www.parkhilljuniorschool.co.uk/
A full list of projects that will receive Green Shoots Community Climate Change funding can be found here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/regeneration-projects/green-shoots-community-climate-change-fund-2022/5
For more information about the Fund, visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greenshootsfund
For more information about how Warwickshire is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/
Get the latest news about how Warwickshire County Council and partners are facing the challenge of the climate emergency and how you can get involved: http://eepurl.com/hrk-zf