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New Outdoor Classroom

We are delighted with our newly created outdoor classroom in the Woodland area

Our Woodland area has undergone a brilliant revamp, and we could not be more thrilled with the result.  Mr Girdler very kindly provided us with an explanation of what he had to do to create this brilliant learning space:

Hedge laying using existing shrubs and boundaries. Cutting the base of the hedge plants at ground level on the angle and leaving the right amount of bark to keep the plants alive. This is the cambium layer. The sap keeps the plants in good health, and they continue to grow in a more horizontal fashion, low down and dense, providing a neat and compact barrier and neatening up the pathways and boundaries. This is very sustainable and great for birds, and wildlife and promotes bulbs and saplings to grow. 

Dumper truck tyres were reinstated as raised bed planter with corkscrew hazel and some ferns and trailing ivy. These were finished off with hazel stakes and binders, woven in a basket-style finish. 

The Hazel Copse or Hazel Coppice are a group or clusters of hazel trees, which is where he sourced the stakes and binders. The binders act as upright posts spaced an arm's length apart and the binders are like whips, long and thin and are twisted in a rope-platted style around the stakes. The stakes hold the hedge plants in place and the binders hold the stakes in place. This promotes new hedge growth and is easier to maintain. Once cut back shed they will regrow the following year to offer more materials for hedge laying. 

Using the old tree limbs and pruning pieces as a 'dead wall barrier', making two lines of stakes and stacking everything in the middle. Over time, this builds up in height and decomposes and acts as an ideal habitat for mini beasts, which provides a food source for the birds. 

Log stacks and tree slices act as mini beast hotels and stag beetle dens. There is also an underground wild bumble beehive. 

Our sincere thanks to Mr Girdler and Mrs Gorringe for our incredible new learning space.  We have no doubt there will be many happy hours spent in the Woodlands.