A £250 grant from the Diocese of Gloucester Environment Fund has given children at Coberley Church of England Primary School the chance to create bird feeders and plant a wildflower garden in St Giles’ churchyard.
With support from their Head Teacher and the local priest, the Revd Cliff Pooley, the children made a simple design for the feeders, using no plastic elements, which would blend into the natural, rural setting of the churchyard. The project would exercise their creativity and develop their practical skills, whilst the essence of the project would develop their spiritual awareness with a focus on protecting and nurturing God’s natural world and working together as a team. It would also be fun to make.
The children used the grant money to buy tools like saws, hammers, drills, cutters and materials like logs, wire mesh, hangers and fixing tacks. Each child made two feeders – one for church and one to sell at the Christmas Fayre to generate more money for school projects.
The children have made several visits to refill them, which has taught them a wider lesson about continuing support of their project. The small wildflower patch was created on the north side of the churchyard. The children carefully prepared the ground, clearing grass and any weeds, then sowed their selection of wildflower seeds. These are now flourishing.
Looking ahead, the next project will be the School Eco-Project, which will focus on protecting the environment. As part of this, litter picks are planned, to keep the churchyard tidy.
The children have also been considering a continuation of their wildlife project with some new hedgehog homes in the churchyard.