Scroll down to read about how Stamford are supporting local wildlife, from our Director of Outdoor Education,
Mr Edd Smith.
Celebrating the scruffier side of life!
Looking after the grounds at Stamford goes beyond maintaining classic stripey lawns, cricket pitches and our 60 acres of sports fields. The Grounds Teams continue to work to support nature and improve the range of opportunities for wildlife to thrive around the sites; and it’s time to celebrate our mini nature reserves.
There isn’t much Bob Carder (Head of Grounds) does not know about sports pitches. He and his team are responsible for some of the most striking parts of the Schools, year in, year out. But what most people do not know about Bob, is that he has a huge amount of knowledge and interest in nature.
Richard Taylor (Gardens supervisor) has a great passion for wildlife and nature, as well as a great deal of knowledge about which plants are of most benefit to the natural world around us; leading to many of the beds around the Schools being replanted, with more useful plants for wildlife.
The Grounds Team are looking to spread their knowledge of how important nature is, and wanted to showcase what the Schools are doing to support wildlife.
Permanent Nature Areas
A number of areas have been put aside across the Schools, which are being managed for the benefit of nature. This includes planting beneficial plants and trees, leaving grass to grow, sewing wildflowers and providing suitable habitats for a number of creatures such as our resident hedgehogs. These wildlife areas may look a bit scruffy from the outside, but with the huge loss of biodiversity across the UK and around the world, such “scruffiness” is needed more than ever.
Houses for Wildlife
Many different bird boxes have been out up around the Schools, including an owl box at Stamford Junior School. In addition there are bat boxes and solitary bee houses, as well. Log piles have been created in the outdoor area at SJS and mounds have been created in the site behind the old pool to provide habitat for mammals and other creatures.
Did you know that of around 240 species of bee in the UK, 200 are solitary and do not live in a communal hive as we often imagine!
Temporary Wildlife Areas
Whilst not every part of the Schools can be a permanent home for nature, allowing certain areas to grow up for certain periods of the year can be extremely beneficial. For example, the Grounds Team may deliberately not mow a bank for a few months in the summer to allow the flowers to come through and provide habitats for insects, which in turn provides food for birds. Equally, the gardeners may leave some of the plants in a border standing over the winter, so that insects can shelter in the hollow stems. They will then be trimmed back in the spring as the new growth arrives.
How can you help?
First and foremost, embrace the scruffier side of life!
You can help others understand why parts of the Schools look the way they do. By educating each other we can encourage a more nature friendly site. We are all aware of the huge challenges to the planet of both climate change and loss of biodiversity, so please help to encourage the management of School grounds for the benefit of nature.
Join a wider project
The permanent areas which are being managed for the benefit of nature will be pledged as part of the Landyke Community Nature reserve project. This is a scheme which encourages people to manage some of their open spaces for the benefit of nature and looks to create a patchwork of nature friendly spaces in Gardens in the local area.
You can join the project yourself, by pledging a part of your garden at home. For more info about this scheme and to get involved, take a look at their website: