Wildlife in school grounds
School grounds are great homes for a selection of wildlife from mini-beasts to reptiles. The number and diversity of these can be increased by adding the right features.
There may be opportunities to improve biodiversity and attract wildlife into your playground or school grounds. Many animals and birds are at their most active at dawn and dusk when schools are closed meaning it is nice and quiet for the animals to go about their business in peace.
Remember you do not need to have a separate space in your grounds for wildlife but make all your grounds accessible to wildlife.
How to attract wildlife into school grounds
There are lots of ways to attract wildlife into your school grounds:
- plant trees and hedges for birds to hide and rest in
- hang up bird feeders
- make animal homes such as bat boxes, hedgehog homes and bird boxes
- create a pond to attract wet habitat species like frogs and broad leaved pondweed
- leave log piles, twigs and leaves to rot to provide a habitat for woodlice and other insects
- plant a wildflower meadow to attract many types of insects and birds
- create a compost heap as a mini-beast habitat and a way to make the most of fruit and vegetable leftovers
- in hot weather leave small dishes of water for thirsty animals to drink
Monitoring and recording wildlife in school grounds
Once you have started to attract wildlife to your school record what you see and when. Carrying out surveys and interpreting the information can be linked to various parts of the curriculum from maths and science to art and literacy. Send your findings to the Jersey Biodiversity centre who are keen to receive all recordings. Monitoring and recording wildlife can be very interactive, some Jersey schools have installed cameras into bird, squirrel or bat boxes to watch what is going on without disturbing the wildlife.
Jersey biodiversity centre website
Biodiversity championship scheme for Jersey schools
You may wish to consider becoming a member of the biodiversity championship scheme.