Thursday 2nd February 2006 by C. Freeman
A conservation area is being created at Brooke Weston City Technology College to attract even more wildlife to the area. A tract of land to the side and rear of the college, which is studded with ponds has been earmarked for the long-term project which should give students plenty of opportunities to study wildlife at close quarters.
A team of three groundsmen have been putting in hours of intensive work, clearing stones and debris before creating a drained, level pathway around the area. Civil engineers, Cofton who are developing Oakley Vale, have kindly donated topsoil and gravel to help in the construction of the half-mile-long pathway.
Already the site is a habitat for various creatures including a fox, a badger, hares, voles, bats and the protected Great Crested newts who hide under piles of rocks. A family of geese also took up residence on one of the ponds, increasing their number from four to an impressive 17!
Man-made sanctuaries for wildlife
It is hoped that the development work will make the area even more enticing to wildlife, with the ponds, which drain overspill from the Lakes development, attracting dragonflies and insect life in the summer months.
Groundsman, Paul Twamley said: 'The main aim is to tidy the area up, get rid of debris, establish a pathway and then plant native species of plants.'
There are already silver birch and fir trees on the site but further copses of trees will be planted in the future, providing shade and structure and there are also plans to sow wildflower seed in order to provide summertime colour.
The groundsmen spend around 100 man hours per week to maintain Brooke Weston's grounds and, once developed, this wildlife habitat should become an attractive, and easy to maintain resource, which will continue to develop as it becomes established.