New thinking in Newtown School
On Wednesday 22nd April the Susliving Tech Mentors traveled to Newtown School in Waterford for our first workshop with the school since their visit to the Susliving Demonstration Centre. With the Transition Year students, we put into practice some of the ideas on biodiversity that the students had experienced at the Susliving Demo Centre. With a polytunnel and vegetable plot in use in the school, they have already taken some steps to learn about growing food.
Pollination is an invaluable service, provided for free by bees and other insects. It is especially important that we attract pollinators into our gardens, especially now in spring when many fruiting plants are in bloom. Working in groups, the students worked through planting for biodiversity, using a variety of flowering shrubs which will bring bees into the food garden. Meanwhile, another group of students made insect hotels from bundles of sticks and leaves, which will provide shelter for beneficial overwintering insects including ladybirds.
As well as insects, birds are another great asset to the garden. They keep insect numbers in check, and feed especially on pests like slugs and snails, reducing the use of pesticides. The students made a valiant effort to put together the bird nesting box, made of recycled wood. which we will be putting up in the nearby trees in our next workshop.
In the final part of the workshop, we added to the fruiting crops in the school garden, with the students learning how to plant apple and pear trees, which we hope will be full of fruit in the months to come. Altogether the class has made great effort to increase the biodiversity of the school, which will benefit the food garden over the coming months. We look forward to the second workshop in Newtown School next week!