Our Lady of the Missions Primary School
The wetlands here are getting a helping hand from a natural engineer. Beavers have made a dam which slows the water and allows it to spread out, providing rare habitat for plants and animals that like to have their feet wet. The stream meanders and it's less defined edges allow the area to act as a flood plain.
Beavers have been re-introduced to Scotland and their dam building helps to slow the flow of water, reducing it's energy and allowing it to soak into the ground.
The theme is ‘beavers playing in a mountain stream’. Pupils formed a group called Guardians of the Garden and designed their garden without any adult input.
They spent three weeks of lunch hours designing the garden and reading about local, seasonal and condition appropriate plants, and beavers which have been reintroduced into Scottish waters.
The Guardians of the Garden then put together their plan using materials and containers they could reuse – old tyres for the water fall, old tubes from the science room for the pump, old plant pots for the plants, leftover paints to decorate, twigs to build a dam and moss found in the school grounds.
The base of the garden is a reused old pallet that was in storage at the school. Pupils grew what plants they could from seed including grasses and have sourced wetland plants via Angela Smith at the Royal Horticultural Society.
This Pocket Garden is a Wetland or Fresh Water Margin Garden. These designs are inspired by the flowing water of a torrential mountain burn, the still waters of our lochs and lochans or Scotland's wetlands where the ground holds the water like a sponge in bogs, fens, marshes and wetland meadows. Wetlands help to filter and clean our fresh water, reduce flooding and store huge amounts of carbon as well as supporting wildlife. For wetland wisdom look here, here and here.