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Updated: May 3, 2019

Derryquay school's quest for a green flag in biodiversity has begun in earnest! Mother Nature has smiled on us in recent weeks with great spring weather so we have made tremendous progress already. As well as learning about the concept of biodiversity, we have been looking at different ways we can improve conditions for all wildlife in our school grounds. Our goal is to implement 43 different biodiversity measures, one for each child attending the school. The enthusiasm of the children is just wonderful and their consideration for the natural world gives us all great hope for the future. We will keep you updated as we go so keep an eye on the website!

The story so far...

We are very lucky in Derryquay to have a number of biodiversity features already in place. The existing shrubs and trees around the school as well as the stand of native trees planted as part of the school's centenary year celebrations provide great habitats for our local wildlife. The old stone walls provide a home to a host of insect and plant life. We also have lots of moss and ivy growing adjacent to the school as well as natural regeneration of holly. Our goal now is to develop these features to encourage even more wildlife into the school grounds.

After a group discussion about wonderful willow trees, the senior class (with some help from muinteoir Siobhan) installed a willow den in our new wildlife garden. Fingers crossed it will successfully grow roots and provide a fun play space for the kids while supporting our local wildlife.

The 6th class boys did a marvelous job digging our wildlife pond. Let's hope the local frogs, birds and insects will be delighted with this new facility.

Work also commenced on developing food sources for our local bee and butterfly populations with the planting of some heather and other flowering shrubs. In a new approach to landscape design, the boys decided that planting the shrubs in a 4-4-2 formation beside the soccer pitch would give a nice look. Move over Diarmaid Gavin, these kids plan to shake things up!

The senior class marked off a 'no mow zone' on the lawn. It will be interesting to see as the weeks go by how this will affect our insect population.

The junior class did a wonderful job planting some vegetable seeds for our lovely raised vegetable bed. Our hope is to have a bountiful supply of fresh salads and herbs for our annual summer barbeque in June.

The fourth class boys took the lead in building a wormery for the children to observe the vital role earthworms play in creating soil.

In this digital world, watching the children interact with the garden is a pleasure, there is nothing like nature to spark the imagination. Who knew that fallen twigs are actually magic wands that can cast spells better than Harry Potter himself?

Amy Hingston


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