potatoesToday’s Guest Blog comes from Karen Davies, Partnerships Co-ordinator at Stafford Borough Council.

Stafford Borough Eco-Schools Network continues to thrive!  The last meeting of the Summer term was held at Weston Road Academy in its refurbished eco-classroom’.  Guest speaker, Prof Tausz from Birmingham University, spoke about ‘Norbury’s Unique Forest Experiment’ a world leading research project looking at the impact of enhanced CO2 levels on a whole woodland ecosystem.

Eco-Schools eco-grant supporting growing projects at Walton Priory Middle School

Through the year several schools have been implementing a range of initiatives with support from the SBC eco-schools eco-grant and 140 children took part in Eco-Action Day at the Wolseley Centre in July.  Children enjoyed the fabulously funny ‘Momo Theatre’, made nest boxes, created willow crafts, went pond dipping, tucked into a litter free healthy lunch and created a unique felt ‘Eco-Schools Network Banner’!  Organised and funded by SBC, partners included Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Mark and his apprentices from Perkins Engines Ltd, Nigel the willow weaver and Philippa Wilson, retired teacher and eco-volunteer.

Our meeting in November at Sir Graham Balfour High School, with several interesting guest speakers, had a crafty Christmas flavour, with everyone getting ‘hands on’ with activities to enjoy back in the classroom, including making mini Christmas Trees from twigs (and cinnamon sticks) and donated materials and ribbon.

There have been over 20 applications for funding from the SBC Eco-Schools Eco-Grant and cheques are being distributed.  Responses are positive.  ‘That’s fantastic news – just want we wanted to hear on a Monday!’ said the headteacher of Greenhall Nursery school which provides specialized support and teaching aged 2-5 years with physical disabilities.  “We are so excited to have received the grant! Thank you so much … we are really looking forward to starting the project!”, said Sarah Hopkins from Woodseaves CE Primary School.

More details on all these eco-activities and more can be found here and this year’s eco-grant supported projects here.  Karen can be contacted at kdavies@staffordbc.gov.uk