|Year 9 Friends' pupils with
their Pug Hotel'.
From left — right are: Emma Hassard, Caplan Harkin, Sophie Jameson, Emily Joyce, Caroline Finney, Chloe Hassard and teacher Dr. Collins.
A GROUP of Year 9 pupils from Friends' School have been involved in a project to increase biodiversity within the school grounds and encourage the local community to do the same, in their own gardens.
The pupils have formed a Young Environmentalist group and are taking part in a Young Environmentalist Awards 2009 competition organised by ECO-UNESCO.
Pupils noticed that there was a reduction in the number of insects in and around the school wildlife garden, prompting them to research possible reasons for this decline.
The project 'It's a Bugs Life' took action to provide food and shelter for insects and other invertebrates in order to make them feel welcome in the school grounds. Native flowering species which attract insects were planted, and insects were encouraged to stay over winter by planting ivy which provides them with shelter. Specially designed nests for bees were also built.
Pupils enjoyed building a 'Bug Hotel' with pine cones, wood, bricks and straw. This 'hotel' provides shelter for Lacewings, Ladybirds, Hoverflies and Butterflies, all of which are beneficial to our gardens.
Leaf litter and compost provides habitats for a wide range of invertebrates. Pupils built six leaf composters and sited them within the school grounds with the aim of making leaf mould. In the future this leaf compost will be used as mulch in the wildlife garden.
The Young Environmentalists are planning to visit some local primary schools to promote and encourage younger pupils to be aware of biodiversity and give advice on ways to make their school and home gardens a haven for insects.