Our common vision for our cluster is….
To get to know our sites really well and know if the tree bumblebee is present in other areas of this community. This would include making links to the existing John Muir award scheme.
The Tree bumble bee is increasing its range in the UK but doesn’t have many records. It is an excellent pollinator and likes large open, daisy like flowers, it nests in trees. We have records of it on one of our school sites and want to know if it exists on the other sites.
Schools will be making improvements to their sites for this species. This will also enable other pollinators to benefit from increased nectar sources and tree planting.
For Richard Bonnington Primary this will include planting of nectar sources in their meadow, pond and foundation area. They will lead on the coordination of a shared education pack and resources for each school around the tree bumblebee and its needs. They will support the distribution of seeds to the local residents, particularly in Churchmoor Lane and the houses and banks around St Mary’s preschool and sports field. This may also include making links with community groups like the Wildlife Trust and the local authority to see if they would like to be involved in community engagement. Also populating a group of ‘Deputy Ambassadors’ who will take on the role once they have moved up to Redhill to enable them to already have prior knowledge to fulfill the role through planting and being actively involved
For Arnold Mill they have planted raspberries and wild flower arable flowers to harvest fruit seeds and canes for distribution to the school and wider community including other cluster schools. They continue to survey their school site with their gardening group who hopefully will take on the role once they have moved up to Redhill. The school have worked with an artist to create artwork to raise the profile of the role of pollinators in producing fruit. They have had a celebration assembly and hope to continue this tradition of sharing and celebrating each year.
At Redhill academy the older students populate a group of science/ecology ambassadors that participate in the surveying of the sites as well as opening a communication link between the participating schools with the aim to raise the profile of the species in the school and the wider community. They continue to have an established link to Nottingham University Ecologists to support identification. The science teachers have contributed to the education pack from a KS3 level. The students have spent their grant on designing border gardens for each house based on the needs of pollinators. They have created their gardens and are watering it regularly. We are also looking at working with grounds staff to change the mowing regime for the edges of the sports fields.
For Derrymount this may include habitat improvements for this species. This may be integrated through the PSVE curriculum or as an extra-curricular activity by a group of primary aged volunteers. Through planting trees and flowers on their site, Derrymount aim to make their site more pollinator friendly and use this as a stimulus for learners to develop a more long term connection with the natural world. As pupils move up to secondary aged they may work as community leaders, through their connections with Floralands garden centre and as part of their horticulture qualifications.