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Buchlyvie Wild-life Garden

Buchlyvie Wildlife Garden

Buchlyvie Primary School is central to village life. In June 2007 as part of the Big Lottery national ‘Breathing Spaces’ scheme, the school was awarded £10,000 to create a wildlife garden in the field behind the school. 

This funding has provided a fantastic opportunity to create a wildlife garden in the centre of the village. The children, teachers, parents and local volunteers are involved with planting and maintaining the garden. A team of local people and professionals advises on planting schemes and native species. The aim is to create a variety of wildlife habitats and a beautiful garden for everyone to enjoy.

Our first event was The Big Dig on November 2nd 2007 when all the children and their parents, planted their own rowan trees creating an avenue along the path linking the school with the village hall. BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) helped plant a mixed native woodland and a butterfly garden with lavender, roses, honeysuckle and buddleia. They also created a pond with a sitting area and dipping platform. The children planted an orchard of apple, plum and cherry trees and thousands of snowdrops, daffodils, croci and bluebells.

The Broch

 In June 2008, twenty-five dykers from the Scottish Branches of the Drystone Walling Association built an outdoor waiting room and medicinal herb garden. The drystone circular double walled structure was inspired by the Buchlyvie broch and developed from this basic plan. 

 

The Broch was planted with medicinal plants chosen by our local herbalist and planted by the children. 

 

   

 

Irwin 

 

 

Irwin Campbell had been the main driving force in the production of the Broch In 2010 he spent a lot of time making steps between two giant stones, to create a path leading up to the football pitch.In the spring of 2010, numerous trays of hedgerow wildflower seeds were sown and these were planted out around this path in the autumn.

The Pond

In 2007 BTCV (the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) created the pond with a sitting area and dipping platform. Since then, the bank above the pond has been planted with numerous wildflowers, includng croci, teasel, clover, primrose and cowslip. The edges of the pond now contain marsh marigold, purple loosestrife and the lovely meadowsweet - known by some as "Queen of the Meadow" and many, many others. The water itself contains water lilies and other plants, apart from the newts, tadpoles, snails and frogs which have found their way to it.

   


Activities around the pond were designed for having fun while learning about the wildlife garden, improving the habitat and making it more wildlife friendly. In the summer, weekend activities, led by two countryside rangers from Loch Lomond National Park and Stirling Council Countryside Rangers, included pond dipping, mini beast hunt, nature trail treasure hunt and building an insect hibernation house.

The pond was chosen as a collage project with the results displayed for all to see.

 

 

 

 

Projects

Throughout 2009, the wildlife garden was continuously used in school projects. The children kept an illustrated diary of the wildlife garden noting the changes through the year. A bat conservationist came to talk to all the children about bats and bat-boxes were made by P5, 6 and 7. In March, three parents from the school went on a willow structure course and built a willow-dome in the playground. One of the parents turned some very large (empty!) whisky barrels into ‘raised beds’ for the children to grow their own vegetables in. In June, we celebrated the achievements of the previous two years with a Buchlyvie Wildlife Celebration, which involved all age groups, particularly children and teenagers.Pond dipping

Activities were designed for having fun while learning about the wildlife garden, improving the habitat and making it more wildlife friendly. In the summer, weekend activities, led by two countryside rangers from Loch Lomond National Park and Stirling Council Countryside Rangers, included pond dipping, mini beast hunt, nature trail treasure hunt and building an insect hibernation house.

In the evening there was a Bat Watch, listening to and identifying bats, led by an ecologist and bat conservationist who lives in Buchlyvie. A lavender hedge of over two hundred plants was also created around the Broch medicinal herb garden.

The Clay Tree Mosaic

This exciting project was led by Alison Borthwick of Buchlyvie Pottery and artist Billy Pretorius, who had created the beautiful mosaic at the front of the schClay treeool three years previously. The children used local clay which fires to a beautiful terra cotta. They made foot or hand prints and clay prints of a leaf, which were all used to create this tree. It can be seen on the back wall of the school. Footprints formed roots and branches of the tree, while hand and leaf prints were the foliage -all fired in the  Pottery. The tree makes an impressive contribution to the building and represents the diversity of people that use the school, medical centre and garden.

Future projects include three information boards, currently being designed and illustrated. One is a map giving an overview of the planting schemes and the other two boards will be for the pond and medicinal herb garden.

Wildflower Meadow

Oxpeye daisesA wildflower meadow was sown in April 2009 with species commonly found throughout Scotland. By the summer of 2010, the hard work put in during the previous three years started to show: the wildflower meadow was a blaze of colour, the trees in the woodland grew well and the pond produced a rich diversity of wildlife. A £250 grant from Scottish Natural Heritage enabled us to buy more pond plants, all native species, so next year it should be even better.planting seeds

Several mothers formed a gardening group and bought a water butt, a mini-green house and five large planters. The children sowed the  seeds of sunflowers, herbs, beans, peas and courgettes, which were harvested in the autumn.

 

 

Irwin

 

Irwin Campbell, who had been the main driving force in the production of the Broch, spent much time in 2010 making steps between two giant stones, to create a path leading up to the football pitch. In the spring of 2010, numerous trays of hedgerow wildflower seeds had been sown and these were planted out around this path in the autumn.

It had been intended to plant lots of bulbs for the spring, but this project was upset by the weather. It will now have to be done as soon as the ice has gone, so, if you’d like to take part in this, please contact Jessica Langford (see below).

The Wild-life Animation

The school received funding from First Light to make an animation film. The project was inspired by the wildlife garden and provided an opportunity for all the children to be involved in making their own animation film.

collecting leavesThe children first collected an assortment of berries, leaves, nuts and pine cones from the wildlife garden. Each group then made animals or birds from these items - particularly tiny hedgehogs from the teasel heads! They then  created a story about them. boys filming

They were shown how to turn their story into an animation. Each picture had to be photographed, the characters moved by a tiny fraction and then photographed again. The final animation would be shown at 24 pictures every second, so it was a slow business to create the complete film.

 

 

 

 

 

squirrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first showing of this film was to a packed audience in the Village Hall, who enthusiastically demanded to see an encore performance. 

 


 

The village gives thanks to all the talented and generous people in Buchlyvie who have given their time and expertise to create the Wildlife Garden. If you would like to be involved and help with planting bulbs, etc., please get in touch.

Jessica Langford, 01360 850 118 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.