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Creating a new wild flower area within school

We are a group of young people who are really passionate about having a say when it comes to the local environment. We are based in the SL6 area of Berkshire and our focus is to support the other local wildlife groups. The group originated from a lack of representation of young people in the area getting involved in wildlife groups, probably due to the fact that the average age of volunteers in these groups is 30+. We know that there are many young people in the surrounding area who share a passion for environmental protection and education, so we thought that the best way to encourage their involvement would be to create a group aimed at them! We hope to give young people opportunities to volunteer with local environmental and ecological projects and you can find out more about these on our facebook group HERE

In 2020 we approached Furze Platt Senior School to plant a wildflower area. Since then, recognising the impact of Covid19 on young people and the wellbeing benefits of being outside that we have experienced ourselves, this seed of an idea has scaled up to become a new environmental and wellbeing project, for students outside of the school curriculum.

The project, designed by young people based on their experiences of life during lockdown, will see a team of young people: - Plant and maintain a new wildflower area on a bare site on the school grounds, learning about nature, working as a team, being physically active and giving back to their school. This project is a way for young people to take action together and feel empowered, reducing anxiety and improving wellbeing through engaging with nature, making changes that can have lasting impact. The workshops will be free and open to all. We will engage with up to 60 students with workshops and all 1,400 pupils and their families will indirectly benefit from a more biodiverse school site and improved wellbeing through increased opportunities for engagement with nature. The school’s long term aim is to eventually create a new reflection garden, a tranquil place for students to spend time.

Update - We have successfully hired a landscaping team who offered a very competitive price to prepare the area for us ahead of the planting Spring 2022. We have also secured a number of dates for the project to run and are gaining support and interest from students. In November 2021, we ran a small group session within WildSL6 and sowed lots of native wildflower seeds donated to us from various supporters, which we are nurturing now until Spring so we can hopefully allow the children to transplant some more established plants to kickstart the meadow.

The Innovation Fund has helped us connect with other projects and we are arranging to meet with them so that we can learn more about their projects and hopefully get some useful feedback to run our project more successfully.

Also through the Innovation Fund we were very happy to get in touch with another successful project, Mad Millennials, and ran a joint ‘Nature Walk and Talk’ session through Maidenhead Thicket. It offered people a chance to get outside and be with nature, whilst also meeting and chatting to new people. We are hoping to set up a quarterly session, where we work more closely with Mad Millennials as the feedback was so positive. You can see some of us enjoying our walk below.