This year, the eco committee has expanded and grown to currently have around 60 members with each member playing a key role within the six smaller working groups. There has been lots of planning involved with events, projects, and new initiatives. The smaller groups together have achieved a lot over the past term and a half, and all members have played a part in this.
We were both inspired to be in the committee last year after meeting Mimi and Jude while helping out in the biology garden. They had accomplished so much, and we wanted to continue with their work and plans for this year and are very grateful for this opportunity. We took on our roles last year mid-way through the last lockdown when we kept up the pace and carried on through with the important planning of our current projects with Zoom meetings every week. This has helped us with the skills to run the meetings this year, especially with the current circumstances. We have learnt about things we can do in our daily lives, at school, and home to help save the planet!
Ellie Letts, a member of beekeeping society and apiary group, wrote to invite Jenny Steel, an author, and former Oxford University Plant Ecologist. We are very honored to have her at this week's meeting to speak to and advise us on our on-going Pollinator garden project.
Jenny is the author of 17 books about Wildlife and Wildflower gardening and has a two-acre wildlife garden at her home in South Shropshire. She is particularly interested with all the aspect of garden ecology so her knowledge can help us to find out more about growing successful wildflowers to benefit the insects, birds, and animals around the school site. She has featured on several BBC television programmes including Gardener’s World, The Natural world, and local and national BBC news.
The project has made some great progress this term with both the format of the apiary with proposing ideas of which native shrubberies, flowers and trees are going to be planted, as well as the design team who are drawing up some hopeful plans.
The biology garden is now established with many species such as the Red Mason bees, frogs, lots of birdlife, water shrew and many more have been spotted. The re-wilding group made brilliant headway throughout the last term and are continuing to do so while researching wildflower meadows and gaining insight from the ground's men about soil pH and varieties best suited for the area. We are looking forward to the project getting underway and having beautiful areas of vibrant wildflowers around the school site, starting with one at the front of Kingland Hall.
We are also very excited for the 2040 screening event on the 23rd of April to be held in the Barnes Theatre. Poppy Stephens has worked very hard organizing for guest speakers Sarah Morris, Roger Grenville Morgan, and Katharine Symonds-Moore to join us for this event.
The recycling group have been looking at ways we can dispose of our rubbish using more sustainable methods. They have done research into local recycling services and the possibility to start with the recycling of cans.
In the sustainability group, they have taken inspiration from the “Shrewsbury cup” to have our own cups at school which we can reuse for hot drinks in grot and quod.
Also, we are happy to announce that our social media & marketing group has successfully started the foundations to set up social media accounts on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. We will soon be posting Instagram reel updates on our Biology garden, school rewilding progress and fun facts about the world’s ecosystem. Stay tuned for our news & promotions and we look forward to posting and keeping everyone updated on the eco committee's newest activities!
Lara L-J and Cathy L, Co-chairs, writing on behalf of the eco committee.