The First Year
The first year of the project saw us design and create nine wildlife gardens and one community woodland with the ten Children’s Centres we worked with. These are not only fantastic habitats for wildlife and plants but, importantly, interesting and fun areas for learning and exploring, which enable children and families to really reconnect with nature up close.
At North Banbury Children's Centre there was an area that was totally unused. It is now a thriving area for wildlife with native plants and bushes, a pond, bird feeding station and bird boxes made by families. There are viewing areas through the fence which have been built specifically at child height to ensure children can see what is living in their garden. See before and after photos in our gallery below.
The second year of the project saw a very warm spring and unseasonably wet summer. This confused many of our newly planted fruit trees, but the wildflowers thrived, attracting insects and children to explore and enjoy them. It wasn't a great year for many of our vegetable gardens but we did our best and harvested potatoes and some pumpkins.
At the mid way point of the project, Jenny, Phil and Stuart were very busy working at all the Children’s Centres running outdoor and nature based sessions for families attending the centres. They also spent time organising large events at the Earth Trust Centre (Autumn Festival) and attending Playdays (run by the Oxfordshire Play Association) across the County.
By the end of the second year we had worked with almost 20,000 children and families, run over 600 small sessions in Children’s centres, organised two Autumn Festivals, one launch event and enabled 14 parents to take part in Level 1 Forest School training. What a year!
See our photo gallery >>
Find out more about the people we've worked with here: