Archbishop opens infant school's wildlife garden

The Archbishop of York with class teacher Andy Burt and children from Bishopthorpe Infant School

The Archbishop of York joined staff, parent volunteers and pupils of Bishopthorpe Infant School on Friday to open their new wildlife garden.

The garden was created on a small piece of unused land at the side of the main school playground.

It is a year in the making and was made possible with the support of parents, volunteers and local businesses.

Mr Andy Burt, Class Teacher, said: "The children's ideas have been central to the development of this project and we have been inspired by their creativity. Some made box models to show what they would like to see in the space, others painted pictures or made lists of what they would like the area to contain.

Dr John Sentamu cuts the ribbon to officially open the new wildlife garden

"Each of the volunteers working on the project have backgrounds in landscaping and they created final designs for our space using ideas taken from the children's own designs.

"The designs were then shared with children and parents and the hard work of digging and clearing the area began.

"Many weekends were given over to the digging, clearing and preparation of the ground with teams of keen volunteers."

The Archbishop of York with children from Bishopthorpe Infant School

The children were also able to get involved with the project by helping with the planting, while parents added a helping hand to plant a mixed hedge at the borders.

The garden has been designed to support local wildlife.

Features include a butterfly area with plants to attract insects, a bog garden, a den making area, a wildflower meadow, a bird table, insect hotel and log pile.

When the weather warms up, the children will be able to enjoy a story area with a willow arbour.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: "The natural world is a gift from God to enjoy; but we are also called to join with God in sustaining and caring for it.

"It's fantastic that Bishopthorpe School is putting the environment at the heart of school life and that so many volunteers have worked together to make this happen.

"When we pull together as a community, the best is yet to be!"

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