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☰ School Council Get Involved in the Local Environment

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School Council Get Involved in the Local Environment

Posted on: 22 Jul 2014 by Weston Green School | Category: Key Stage 2

It’s been a very busy year for the School Council – what with helping to choose a new head teacher, organising the crazy hat day, buying new playground equipment, building a stag beetle home, and responding to some of the requests of their classmates (such as mirrors in the toilets and new activities on Thursday afternoons to include Lego building, and Science Fun) – they have certainly made a difference to life at WGS.

As part of their mission to get involved in their local environment, and as an end of year ‘thank you’ treat, Mrs Hawkins organised a trip to West End Common with Henry, one of the Elmbridge Countryside Team, to go pond dipping and Himalayan Balsam pulling.

Himalayan Balsam is a highly invasive plant, brought to the UK by the Victorians from the Himalayas. It is an annual plant with very effective exploding seed pods which disperse up to 200 seeds each over a huge area; and the seeds will survive for up to nine years in the soil. The flowering plant grows to an amazing height and prevents other native species from thriving.  Luckily, it can be easily pulled up and when the School Council arrived at West End Common they quickly got stuck in and enjoyed removing huge quantities of the plant.  

Once they’d cleared a substantial quantity of the plant they moved to Lardy Pond where Henry gave out nets and pond dipping trays.  At first their attempts to find wildlife in the pond proved frustrating – their nets seemed full of nothing but muddy sludge. But as their technique improved and Henry helped them to identify the tiny creatures in their nets they soon began to find a really impressive range of bugs including lesser and greater water boatmen, pond scorpions, dragonfly nymphs, freshwater clams and newt poles.  Everyone was amazed to discover what a range of wildlife lived in the pond.

The trip ended with a picnic in the sunshine on West End Green and Milo, Issy, Alex, Sienna, Ella, Evie and Luc all agreed that it had been a very good end to their busy year.

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