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The Pond

The School Conservation Area (‘The Pond’)

 

The Friends of Ridgefield have been successful in gaining a ‘Sustainable City’ grant from Cambridge City Council to create and develop a Conservation Area (more commonly known as ‘The Pond’) in the school.

 

The construction project has several stages, but eventually it is expected to look a bit like this:

 

 

Stage 1 – The Fence

The first stage is to erect a fence around the whole of the grass area at the front of the building; this will be a wooden fence with mire mesh attached to the inside.

 

There will be a gate in the centre of the fence which will be wide enough for disabled access; this fence will be 1 metre in height. There will also be signs placed around the site.

 

Stage 2 – The Hole

In this stage, the hole for the pond will be dug. This will be 5 metres by 3 metres and a maximum of 1 metre deep. We will have the use of a mini-digger, which, with luck will be donated to us for a day.

 

Once the hole has been dug and levelled, the liner and sand will be put in place; to complete this, we will need at least four people to help.

 

Stage 3 – The Walkway

 

Once the liner has been installed, the walkway can be laid. This will be a pathway consisting of concrete slabs laid around three-quarters of the pond.

 

There will also be an inspection platform constructed from non-slip decking board. This will have an overhang of approximately 60cm so that the children can actively participate in conservation activities.

 

The other quarter of the pond will incorporate a raised area of soil, which will be used to grow vegetation that will attract wildlife.

 

Stage 4 – Planting Vegetation

 

At this point, the children will be able to become more involved by helping to plant shrubs and other wild vegetation.

 

Stage 5 – Introducing Wildlife

 

In this stage, wildlife is to be introduced into the pond and the surrounding area.

 

We have already had a kind offer of a donation of newts! Any other ideas, suggestions and help will be most welcome…

 

In April 2014, the children enjoyed a day of supervised pond dipping and discovered over 20 species of mini-beasts. Click here to learn more about how successfully life has been introduced into the pond.

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