An education partnership aimed at helping children explore the natural environment, produce and food networks of Pembrokeshire is enjoying some very colourful shoots of success, thanks to a local primary school’s meadow creation project.
Every meadow has a story to tell, and the story behind the wildflower meadow at Johnston CP has its own roots in 2019, when the school decided to take part in the Gwreiddiau/Roots project.
A partnership project with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and with the financial support of South Hook LNG, Gwreiddiau/Roots was set up to provide engaging outdoor learning sessions, foster a better understanding of local food production and provide help to develop outdoor spaces.
Elsa Davies, Chair of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust said: “With recent years making it necessary for schools to embrace new ways of learning, the Roots partnership couldn’t have come at a better time. Since its establishment, hundreds of local children have connected with the environment, as well as local businesses and communities.
“The small wildflower meadow at Johnston CP was established with support from the Roots partnership, along with the expertise of the National Park Education Ranger Tom Bean. Since then, it has flourished and grown into a perfect representation of all that the project hoped to achieve in terms of regeneration, biodiversity and connectivity with nature and the community.”
Earlier this summer, representatives from South Hook LNG and the National Park Trust were invited to accompany Year 4 pupils from Johnston on a visit to a farm in Hook with a spectacular meadow stretching down to the banks of the River Cleddau. After learning how to identify various meadow species and how Yellow rattle can support a healthy habitat, pupils took seeds back with them to plant in their own wildflower meadow.
Now that the plant is established, the meadow at Johnston CP is expected to go from strength to strength, providing an important habitat for pollinating insects and a feast for human senses in summer months.
As the Roots partnership progresses, habitat studies and the creation and maintenance of growing environments in school grounds will continue to be key areas of focus, with plans to further strengthen awareness about local producers here in Pembrokeshire.
“We’re pleased to have been supporting this project since its inception, working with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust to give children new experiences and opportunities to learn about their environment and the vital role of local food networks and businesses across our county” commented South Hook LNG’s PR Manager, Mariam Dalziel.
“Education is an important part of how we engage with the Pembrokeshire community and the continued success of the Roots project is testament to the tangible benefits that outdoor learning has for so many youngsters.”
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust is a registered charity, set up to help care for and protect the National Park. The partnership with South Hook LNG represents a shared understanding of how vital it is to educate youngsters on the importance of the natural environment.
To learn more about the work of the Trust visit www.pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales.
Caption: Johnston School Year 4 pupils at East Hook Farm, with representatives from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust and South Hook LNG