Learning about nature with a little help from the wriggly worms

Torbay Weekly

The two trees stand sentinel over the dew-soaked grass, the few last leaves of the season still clinging to the branches of the taller silver birch.

Although it’s December the ground still has some warmth in it, enough at least to risk planting spring flowering bulbs.

Today there are two classes from Hayes School coming to site to help plant a mixture of tulips, crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils.

After a brief check on which way up to plant the bulbs, the children help peel back the cut turf to reveal rich red South Devon soil, delighting in the sticky clay-like feel of the earth revealed by their minor excavations.

Using trowels and forks they have brought from home they busy themselves planting the bulbs, careful to avoid the wriggling worms that are unearthed in the process.

Whilst waiting for the next group to make their way the short distance form the school, a neighbour comes to her garden gate, curious to find out what the pupils are up to. She is pleased to hear that they are learning about the environment and helping take care of local green spaces.

Of course, the children’s interest extends beyond the bulbs they are planting, it includes the earwigs and worms they have discovered, the two trees already growing on the site, and the trees they intend to plant here in the coming months, with support from the Tree Warden Scheme for Torbay.

It naturally extends beyond the Bay, the initial reason for the teachers getting in touch being the topic of deforestation that they are covering in class this term and the children’s desire to do something locally that could help make a difference, no matter how small.

So here we are, planting bulbs to provide sources of nectar for pollinators in early spring. And whilst we have to wait until next term to plant trees, the work the school are doing to support their children to learn about the environment will continue.

To find out more about how you can get involved in caring for Torbay Green Spaces please contact hannah.worthington@swisco.co.uk