Students from Acle Academy life skills course were at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham, Norfolk Broads, on 23 July to officially open a new multi purpose bird hide in the garden.
Led by tutor Jeremy Bryant, the students made the new hide in sections at school, then visited the garden to complete the construction work. The hide also doubles as an education space with a pond-dipping platform outside. It is fully accessible for visitors in wheelchairs, includes a door at the front, which opens out onto the pond-dipping platform and was made with funds from the Ranworth Trust, donated to the academy for construction projects.
Louise Rout, Fairhaven Garden Manager said: “This is a superb addition to the facilities in the garden and replaces an old structure recycled from our original shop, which had seen better days. We really value our relationship with Acle Academy. The school has worked with us on a number of successful projects over the last four years. The hide and pond-dipping platform greatly improve our education facilities and provide a comfortable space for birdwatchers. It adds to the nearby willow enclosure, which was also created by Acle Academy students as an open-air classroom.
Louise Rout added: “Thank you very much to Jeremy and his team for all their hard work. You should be very proud of what you have created for our visitors. Thanks also go to students from Easton College and our gardening team who dug the new pond at the front of the hide.”
Jeremy Bryant, Acle Academy tutor said: “This has been a great experience for my students, developing and completing a construction scheme away from school. We have been working on it since Christmas. We have been pleased to help Louise and Fairhaven, by creating a project of lasting value for the garden and its visitors.”
Tim Phillips Headteacher Acle Academy added: ”This has been an excellent real project for the students. They have developed skills that they will be confident to use in future. They can also see that their work is valued at Fairhaven and learn to appreciate this special place.”
Liam Aston (15) Acle Academy student said: “I feel really proud of our work. It’s been a very good experience. It’s great that other people will enjoy it. I’ve also got on with people from school who I didn’t really know, as we worked together.”
Jane Cator, Ranworth Trust said: “I think the bird hide is superb and has been a very worthwhile education project for the students. They have build an excellent facility.”
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden t. 01603 270449, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk