The children from the Reception class at Avishayes School in Chard helped to choose and paint the wildlife to depict on wooden plaques which were secured on to a totem pole. The artwork shows wildlife found at the nature reserve and include a little egret, frog, badger and a pair of mute swans.
The totem pole was recently unveiled at the end of the school term, with the children joining the Chard Town Crier for the unveiling event.
The Chard Town Crier started the event by ringing his bell and reading a proclamation to announce the great event to all, following which the totem pole was ceremonially unveiled by pupils with the accompaniment of a song sung by the class about bugs, all before the children finished off the day with a bug hunt in the meadows.
Councillor Sarah Dyke, portfolio holder for Environment at South Somerset District Council, said: “It’s great to see children from the local primary school getting involved with the local nature reserve. This hands-on approach to wildlife is a valuable experience for any child and we hope that the addition of this totem pole will help encourage other children to learn more about their natural surroundings too.”
Tony Gray, member of the Chard Volunteer Group and governor at Avishayes School who helped to organise the art project so that children could be more involved in the nature reserve, said: “Those who have seen the plaques have commented on the quality of the paintings, which the pupils are justly proud of. This event adds to the Forest School activities which are part of the school curriculum designed to encourage pupil awareness of the environment.”
A Crafty Bug event at the nature reserve last month saw over 200 children have a go at pond dipping, bug hunting and various craft activities. Following this success, there will be another chance to take part in nature-based activities at Chard Reservoir on Friday 30 August at the Forest School Taster afternoon. Join the rangers from 12 noon until 3pm to have a go at fire lighting, campfire cooking, crafts and more at this event funded by Somerset Skills and Learning.