Hartlepool school field to be transformed into ‘wildlife haven’

(Left to right) John Swallow, Claire McDonald, Harrison Mekins, Alisha Atkinson and Teaching Assistant Liam Carroll in front of the part of the school field which will become the nature reserve.
(Left to right) John Swallow, Claire McDonald, Harrison Mekins, Alisha Atkinson and Teaching Assistant Liam Carroll in front of the part of the school field which will become the nature reserve.

Pupils at a Hartlepool primary school are set to transform part of their school field into a haven for wildlife.

Children and teachers and parents are creating the nature area at Rift House Primary School, helped by Hartlepool Borough Council outreach officers Claire McDonald and John Swallow from Summerhill Country Park.

The six-week project will involve the children in planning the nature area, designing and making features such as bird houses and bug hotels and learning more about the wildlife it will attract.

Ms McDonald said: “The children will be creating habitats for mini beasts and they are really excited about it.

“There will be a bog garden for frogs, toads and newts, fruit trees, a hedgerow to attract birds and small mammals and wildflowers for summer colour and for insects like bees.

Mr Swallow added: “Although we do lots of work with schools at Summerhill, this is the first time we have helped with a project of this kind out at a school and it’s a real pleasure. The nature area will be investment for years and years, bringing delight, discovery and a sense of ownership to pupils now and in the future.”

Pupils, Alisha Atkinson, eight, and Harrison Mekins, seven, summed up the excitement. “I’m really looking forward to making things like a bug hotel,” said Alisha, and Harrison added: “It will be great to see the frogs, newts, toads and tadpoles.”

Headteacher David Turner said: “We want the children to be ‘active’ learners and this will provide a super opportunity for that.”

It has been made possible thanks to a grant of £1,800 from the Thirteen Community Fund.