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School youngsters from west Dorset scoop Wessex Watermark prize
YOUNGSTERS at a west Dorset school have scooped an award to help them explore the great outdoors.
The Thorners School’s Discovery Area won the Wessex Watermark to help build its pond dipping platform for the school’s new Wetland Area. Wessex Water’s Paul Coggin met parents, teachers and children when he presented them with the £350 Wessex Watermark Award at the Litton Cheney school.
Parent Mickey Bonome said: “Nothing we could teach about biodiversity and ecology in a classroom could possibly be as riveting as working and playing in our Discovery Area.
“It is the perfect environment for the children to learn and feel part of their natural world.
“We want the Discovery Area to become the heart of the school and by being involved from the start our children and families have developed a real sense of responsibility while having fun planning and reclaiming the school’s wild acre. We are delighted with this support from Wessex Water for a project that is going to grow and grow.”
An acre of overgrown brambles was reclaimed by a group of families, staff and children and transformed into a forest garden, a science zone and a flower garden.
Beginning in 2010, they have cleared the school’s large overgrown space.
With the help of the Dorset Wildlife Trust, they successfully planned how to turn the acre both into a wildlife haven and an exciting outdoor learning space.
The Watermark Award provides funds for environmental projects within the Wessex Water area.
In April 2013 the Wessex Watermarks will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in which it has supported over 800 environmental initiatives. Organised by The Conservation Foundation, all projects are judged by a panel chaired by its president David Bellamy