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Head teacher praises 'tireless efforts' as Grantham volunteers and pupils help to improve wildlife area at Belmont Primary School



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A head teacher has said that the development of outdoor areas at his school thanks to the work of volunteers will benefit children for many years.

The Friends of Belmont School (FOBS) held their long-awaited Grounds Day on March 26 which marked the beginning of the comprehensive re-developments of the Wildlife & Outdoor Area of the Belmont Community Primary School in Grantham.

As part of the preparations for this project, FOBS consulted with the Woodland Trust and Growing Together Grantham whose advice helped shape the final plans for the re-development.

Belmont School staff, FOBS member and children all working together to clean up the school dipping pond. (55870566)
Belmont School staff, FOBS member and children all working together to clean up the school dipping pond. (55870566)

FOBS also worked with the school to explore what would work best for the teachers and be most useful for the children within the school environment.

A detailed layout plan and extensive job lists were drawn up for each area that required work and three main areas of the school’s grounds were worked on during Grounds Day: the woodland area, the new gardening/sensory area and the school dipping pond.

A tremendous amount of progress has been achieved on the day – thanks to the altogether 23 adults and 18 children who came along and lent their hands to make this day such a success.

The school dipping pond all cleaned up, with some of the fencing painted. (55870531)
The school dipping pond all cleaned up, with some of the fencing painted. (55870531)

Volunteers included FOBS members, school staff and governors, parents and Belmont children, community members, local parish councillors and volunteers from the Woodland Trust & Parish Council Working Party.

Some of the work completed on the day included felling dead trees and creating a giant bug hotel/dead wood zone from the cut wood, as well as professionally laying a new shed base, building new raised beds/planters and creating a space for the sensory garden.

A new wildflower mount was installed by shifting more than five tons of soil by hand, new seating was fitted in the storytelling area, the pond area was improved and the woodland was cleared of litter.

Dale Marrat, one of the parents who helped on the day by bringing his mini digger, said: “As my son is at the school, I did it for the children and the future generations. I think it’s great that the kids can get outside and be hands on with nature.”

New planters being built by a community member for the new gardening area. (55870563)
New planters being built by a community member for the new gardening area. (55870563)

Anna James, FOBS chairwoman, said: “The re-development of the school’s Wildlife & Outdoor Area is our biggest project to date, both in terms of scale and in terms of funds used (since FOBS became a registered charity in 2018). And our Grounds Day signified a very important and major milestone for this project, as years-long planning and fundraising have finally culminated in a successful day of community work!

"In years to come, we hope that this project will have the greatest impact – primarily on Belmont children and their learning, but also on their families and the wider school and local community. We intend to establish a Gardening Club for children and their families, as well as workshops and talks and several other activities that will involve the local community.

"We are immensely grateful for the support we have received both ahead of and on the day! A huge thank you to everyone who came along on the day to help us and equally a big thank you to those local companies, organisations and community members who have made kind donations of equipment and resources.”

New gardening area with 4 new planters, so each class has their own planter. (55870569)
New gardening area with 4 new planters, so each class has their own planter. (55870569)

FOBS would like to thank the following local companies, organisations and community members for either donating or lending essential resources for our Grounds Day: Jewsons, MKM Building Supplies, Toolstation, Growing Together Grantham, The Woodland Trust, Pete Armstrong, an anonymous Grantham resident who generously donated 10 x 100litres of compost plus gardening gloves, and community members Jane Norris, Dave Hall and Jon Pope.

Matthew Davidson, head teacher of Belmont School: “What a fantastic day! It has been great to work alongside children, parents, staff, Governors and community volunteers as part of the Grounds Day organised by FOBS.

"What a fantastic example of how Team Belmont can work together to improve our school. I know that the children will benefit for many years following the development of our kitchen garden and wildlife areas.

Belmont School staff, FOBS member and children all working together to clean up the school dipping pond. (55870572)
Belmont School staff, FOBS member and children all working together to clean up the school dipping pond. (55870572)

"A big thank you must go out to all members of FOBS and particularly Mrs James who has worked tirelessly in her drive to organise the many aspects that made this such a successful day.”

Peter Armstrong, Belmont School governor, clerk to Parish Council and the Woodland Trust volunteer group leader said: “I would like to congratulate everyone concerned for the tremendous work achieved on Saturday.

"This will all contribute towards a better learning environment for all the children of Belmont now and in the future.”

Belmont School Headteacher helping to shift five tons of soil for the wildflower mount in the woodland area. (55870576)
Belmont School Headteacher helping to shift five tons of soil for the wildflower mount in the woodland area. (55870576)

According to Anna, there are still quite a few jobs that need completing, so the work doesn’t stop here – further help will also be required to maintain and look after this new space in the coming months and especially over the summer holidays.

If you can help, please get in touch by emailing FOBS on fobs@belmont.lincs.sch.uk or you can contact Anna by phone on 07459 685618.

Belmont children and community volunteer helping with creation of giant bug hotel-deadwood zone. (55870580)
Belmont children and community volunteer helping with creation of giant bug hotel-deadwood zone. (55870580)
A well deserved break after hours of hard graft. (55870583)
A well deserved break after hours of hard graft. (55870583)
A parent helping to clear out & break down the old shed. (55870586)
A parent helping to clear out & break down the old shed. (55870586)
A parent helping to clear out & break down the old shed. (55870589)
A parent helping to clear out & break down the old shed. (55870589)
New shed base laid and ready for new shed to be built on during Easter holidays. (55870540)
New shed base laid and ready for new shed to be built on during Easter holidays. (55870540)
New shed base is being laid by a parent, Belmont School headteacher helping to shift excavated soil. (55870543)
New shed base is being laid by a parent, Belmont School headteacher helping to shift excavated soil. (55870543)
Parish Councillor and WT Working Party Volunteers working on cutting down felled trees for the deadwood zone (55870534)
Parish Councillor and WT Working Party Volunteers working on cutting down felled trees for the deadwood zone (55870534)
The new wildflower mount in the background, woodland path cleared, and new deadwood zone completed. (55870537)
The new wildflower mount in the background, woodland path cleared, and new deadwood zone completed. (55870537)
New sensory garden area installed, but not quite completed yet. (55870548)
New sensory garden area installed, but not quite completed yet. (55870548)
New sensory garden area being installed by a FOBS member and community volunteer. (55870552)
New sensory garden area being installed by a FOBS member and community volunteer. (55870552)
New seating installed in the Storytelling Area, pond and deadwood zone in the background. (55870557)
New seating installed in the Storytelling Area, pond and deadwood zone in the background. (55870557)
New seating being installed by parents for the Storytelling Area. (55870560)
New seating being installed by parents for the Storytelling Area. (55870560)


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