Westdene school children help create new biodiversity space 

Local school children have been helping to create a new micro-habitat outside their school.

Pupils from Westdene Primary got involved in planting the new area at the junction of Barn Rise and Bankside on Monday 5 December – World Soil Day.

The triangular space was created when a slip road was closed following the introduction of a School Streets scheme.  Read more about School Streets in Brighton & Hove.

Engineers have been working with our Sustainability Team to explore how best to use it.

The area will encourage wildlife, insects and other biodiversity as well as be a pleasant new space for local residents and the school to enjoy and learn from all year round.

Children spent the morning planting and sowing locally collected and grown native chalk plants and seeds such as yellow rattle, rock rose, scabious, round-headed rampion and wild carrot, provided by the Wild Flower Conservation Society.

School children listening to an adult talking

Picture: Children from Westdene Primary helping with the planting

Wonderful opportunity

Lisa Hagon, Assistant Head of Westdene Primary School said: "What a wonderful opportunity for our children to get involved in a project in our wider community. They will be the best ambassadors for their local area.

"They had such a lovely time getting their hands in the soil and planting some important downland plants.

"Thanks again to Katie and Kim for their continued hard work and commitment to the children of our school."

The new space includes the:

  • removal of the existing tarmac and replacement with a chalk B-Bank for bees and butterflies
  • two new native trees to be planted on site
  • an insect loggery using trunks of ash trees sadly removed from ash dieback safety works locally. These posts provide habitat for dead wood loving beetles and solitary bees, insects and fungi
  • a native flower-rich planted area
  • an information lectern with details about the new space provided by the school children
  • sustainable drainage 

The project helps piece together spaces for nature and connecting up wildlife corridors by linking up to other projects in the city such as the B-banks, City of Meadows, and Wilder Verges projects.

A junction, road and chalk

Picture: The junction of Barn Rise and Bankside and site on new biodiversity area

Area transformed

Councillor Jamie Lloyd, ward councillor for the area and lead councillor for biodiversity was there to see the planting. He said: “This is fantastic to see and a great way of using a space freed up by the new School Streets scheme at Westdene.

“We’ve managed to take an area of road and land and turn it into a space where biodiversity can benefit and local school children can explore and learn from.

“In a relatively short space of time we’ve transformed this area so that our children are safer getting to and from school and created an area for local residents to enjoy and where plants, trees and insects can flourish.”

A man standing next to some logs

Picture: Councillor Jamie Lloyd next to the new loggery for insects

Westdene Primary School is one of the schools involved in Our City Our World , the strategy for sustainability, climate change and environmental education in Brighton & Hove schools.  

You can read more about the work we are doing with our local schools to teach children about the effects of climate change and how to better protect and enhance biodiversity on Our City Our World website


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