News and Projects that the Trust Has Funded
Orleton Primary's Pond Paradise For Local Wildife
The children at Orleton Primary School have been busy creating a safe and welcoming space for local wildlife at their newly-reopened pond area, renovated with the help of funding from the Kingspan Insulation Community Trust.
Over time, the school’s existing pond had become overgrown and filled with fallen leaves, making it difficult for both the students and the local wildlife to gain access. However, all that has changed after the school successfully applied for a grant from the Kingspan Insulation Community Trust to extend and improve the area. Mrs Bryony John, Class 1 teacher in charge of maintaining the new pond, explains:
“We wanted to turn the little-used pond area into a practical and educational tool that the whole school could enjoy all year round. By extending the pond and adding a dipping platform, larger groups of children can gather around the water’s edge to study the wildlife. We also wanted to make sure the pond was more accessible for our younger students in Key Stage 1 and Orleton Preschool, inspiring them to think about their environment and how to care for it from an early age. Additionally, the Evergreen Group, a group of local older residents who often visit the school, have also taken a keen interest in our plans to improve the pond, and have enjoyed watching its restoration.”
The Kingspan Insulation Community Trust awarded the school £5,500 to enlarge the existing pond and install a large decked area ideal for pond dipping, even in wetter weather. A wide variety of native Herefordshire pond plants has also been planted to improve biodiversity and encourage new creatures to visit the wildlife area, particularly amphibians. To further support this, the grant has been used to create an ‘amphibian island’ and hibernacula, offering the frogs and toads a safe space when the children are pond dipping. The rest of the grant money has been used to support the installation of a new safety fence and purchase new pond dipping equipment to help pupils study the new flora and fauna.
Chairman of the Kingspan Insulation Community Trust, John Garbutt, commented on the project:
“It is great to see a school as a whole getting behind a project such as this. The students were involved with all stages of the process, giving them a real sense of ownership and pride over their new pond area. It is vitally important that we work to both support biodiversity in our local areas and to educate and excite future generations about the benefit of doing so.”