Thanks to a £2000 donation from the Tesco Bags of Help fund, we were able to install an outdoor classroom / picnic area in the Jubilee Wood. The bags of Help fund uses proceeds from the 5p sales of Tesco carrier bags. Charities and community groups can apply for money from the fund which is administered by Groundwork West Midlands. A local panel of Tesco employees decide on which 3 entries go forward to voting in-store which is done by customers asking for a blue token and voting for the cause of their choice.
We were fortunate to come second in the store voting, meaning we won £2000. The money paid for the classroom, a willow ‘fedge’ (fence/hedge) and an outdoor activities forest school teacher for 2 days.
The classroom was installed by Forest Schools Birmingham with the benches made in Bewdley with oak from the Wyre Forest near Kidderminster. The fedge is made from living willow grown in Somerset. A membrane is put down so that the grass and other weeds cannot compete with the willow. During the growing season the willow will form roots beneath the soil and grow shoots at the top of the fedge. At the end of every year the fedge will need a ‘haircut’ to stop it growing out of control.
Bilbrook’s first Forest School
The outdoor teaching sessions will take place in the spring with pupils from Lane Green First School and Bilbrook Middle School hosted by Forest School teacher Rachel Bailey. Activities will include stream dipping, mini beast hunt, natural art and fire lighting. We’re also hoping parents will also come along and join in and learn alongside their children about the natural environment in Bilbrook.
We’re also hoping that the area will be used by families in the summer as a picnic spot. We want as many people to use the picnic area, to sit in the pretty surroundings and take in the wonderful birdsong and hopefully spot the wildlife which now lives and thrives in the wood.