Hethersett school children learned about the vital role nature plays in construction projects during an ecology workshop and a visit to a new housing development. Bury St Edmunds based Taylor Wimpey East Anglia and Persimmon Homes Anglia invited Year 4 pupils at Hethersett Junior School to take a tour of their new housing sites a mile away from the school and were represented by Jordan Last, Senior Planning Co-ordinator for Taylor Wimpey East Anglia, and Simeon Nelson, Head of Technical for Persimmon Homes Anglia.
Pictured above: Kevin Joyce from The Ecology Consultancy speaking to year 4 pupils of Hethersett Junior School
The visit, on 20 November 2018, was led by Kevin Joyce from The Ecology Consultancy, an ecological and environmental consultancy with a regional base in Norwich, with whom both Taylor Wimpey East Anglia and Persimmon Homes Anglia have been consulting on a series of ecological matters for local developments. The visit showed pupils some of the features that have been designed into Taylor Wimpey’s Heather Gardens and the neighbouring Persimmon Homes development, Kett’s Meadow, to protect native wildlife and encourage biodiversity, such as parks, trees and drainage ponds. This followed classroom-based ecology workshops for the pupils, provided by The Ecology Consultancy in conjunction with Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes, held at the school in March.
The school is currently raising money for the World Lands Trust, which works to save threatened habitats worldwide, and, during the workshops, Kevin linked the charity’s work to the inclusion of green infrastructure in residential developments.
Paul Mardell, Year 4 class teacher at Hethersett Junior School, said: “The ecology workshop earlier this year built upon what pupils had already been taught about nature and conservation, and complemented our residential trip to How Hill National Nature Reserve in September autumn. The visit to the new homes development site then allowed them to see for themselves the work Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes are doing to protect existing habitats and create new ones. It was a fascinating day out and we would like to thank Jordan and Simeon for taking the time to speak to the children.”
Jordan Last, Senior Planning Co-ordinator for Taylor Wimpey East Anglia, said: “Identifying and protecting animal and plant life on our sites is an extremely important part of the house building process and we were delighted to talk to Hethersett Junior School pupils about the work we are doing nearby.
“The children asked some intelligent questions both during the visit and the workshop, and it was good to be able to link the session to their previous work and charity fundraising. We hope they went away with a greater understanding of the care we take to minimise our impact on the natural environment.”
Simeon Nelson, Head of Technical for Persimmon Homes Anglia, added: “In our role as developers we need to show how we can enhance communities through a number of methods, one being the improvement of the natural environment around us. During the class time session the children learnt how different animals adapt to their surroundings. This is important for us as developers to remember that we can adapt to our changing environment too. The planting of trees, creation of new wildlife habitats, and also adapting to the changing climate play an important part of our designs.
“It is lovely to see how a whole new generation are learning how their choices impact the world around them and what they can do to improve it.”
Kevin Joyce, Ecologist at The Ecology Consultancy, said: “The children showed great interest in the workshop, especially when we discussed great crested newts and the methods we employ to ‘save’ animals from harm. The site visit enabled a ‘real-life’ engagement with the habitat and the measures we had taken to protect the newts and helped the pupils put into context what they had learned during the workshops. The pupils are very proud of the fundraising work that they are doing for the World Land Trust – they engaged well with the idea of green infrastructure being created on the nearby development and understood its value to wildlife.
“They all grasped the fundamental concepts about nature and conservation really well and they all showed plenty of enthusiasm. I suspect there are a few budding David Attenboroughs at Hethersett Junior School.”
For more information about The Ecology Consultancy visit www.ecologyconsultancy.co.uk