During the Easter holidays a group of 11 students took part in a three day project at Foxearth Meadows.
During the Easter holidays, a group of 11 students undertook a three day project at Foxearth Meadows. The project started on Saturday with a tour of the reserve, where the students learnt about the history of Foxearth Meadows and how it had been entrusted to A Rocha UK. In the afternoon, the young people worked in groups on a range of activities, including , coppicing trees, building a dead hedge to help to better secure our storage area, testing water samples to determine the water pH across the meadows and soil core sampling to build up a clearer picture of the soil profile across the Meadows.
On Sunday, the students led a time of worship on the reserve with songs and Bible readings that spoke about the wonder of God’s creation and our duty to care for it. They then enjoyed an hour learning how to distinguish different birds by their song patterns. In the afternoon it was back to work on the practical activities, with some students using their artistic skills to create new signage for the Meadows. Monday saw an all-out effort to finish the dead-hedge as well as complete the scientific sampling before a time of celebration round the fire pit with toasted marshmallows.
This project was a first for both the school and Foxearth Meadows. Feedback from the students has been very positive. One student said “Taking part in the project helped me learn how much nature and creation actually work together just as we also had to work together to care for them”. We look forward to hearing how they’ll put their new knowledge and skills to use back in Liverpool. Already we’ve heard wind of intentions to teach others from their class to build a dead-hedge to screen off the Reception class’s play area and create a pond, using branches coppiced from the trees around the playground. Most importantly, they have been challenged and inspired to nurture their patch of earth, so that people and wildlife can flourish together in harmony.
Headteacher Rachel Boulton said, “This year, the [school’s] focus has been on caring for creation and the students learnt some of the practical skills involved in managing a small nature reserve, under the expert guidance of Mark Prina and Andy Jowitt.” Assisting in the project were two ordinands Nathanael and Chris who had chosen Foxearth Meadows for their social context placement.