Selston students to help create a mini-nature reserve

GREEN-FINGERED Selston students will help create a mini-nature reserve in the village.

Youngsters from Selston Arts and Community College are to begin work on planning the new reserve on land behind the Tin Hat Centre, on Chapel Road, following a grant of £8,680 in Big Lottery Cash through the Awards for All scheme.

They will be responsible for developing diverse habitats, weeding, installing viewing areas and a pond, and making and installing the nesting boxes and bat boxes.

Local infant school children will be involved in planning, and will use the area for nature study to support their learning, although they will not be involved in the physical development of the reserve.

Maria Clifton, business manager for the school, said working on the project would help develop students’ ability to work with others, improve their own learning and problem-solving skills and help them gain qualifications.

“We are thrilled to have received this financial support and look forward to seeing the finished results,” she said this week.

The aim of the project is to develop a small patch of land into a wildlife area with pond, bird nesting boxes, viewing areas, a meadow, a hedgerow habitat, mature trees, picnic areas and a wildlife trail.

It is hoped the nesting boxes will attract both small birds and larger predatory birds.

And there are also plans to transmit images of nesting birds to the school intranet site.

A remote weather recording station installed on site would link to the college’s intranet and the data will be used by the science students to assist their studies.

A further £250 in Envirogrant funding from Veolia Environmental Services will be used to pay for specialist training from a woodland manager to teach hedge-laying techniques to the students.