Conservation at Sedbergh School | Earth Day 2021
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Sedbergh School has a proud history of conservation work and is something we, as a school, take enormous pride in.
Sedbergh has the largest nature reserves of any school in the country, the Thursday conservation group, consisting of pupils and staff, manage our Bruce Lock area, a nearby lake and woodland habitat. The lake was dredged this year to remove reeds and open the water back up. Since then, pupils have helped cut back some remaining reed growth and been and are continuing to keep our woodland habitats varied by coppicing selected trees and shrubs to keep a range of differently sized trees for different nesting birds and allowing sunlight to reach into parts of the woodland to encourage flowering plants such as foxglove and bluebell, which then provide early and mid-spring nectar for insects. Since the dredging of the lake, we believe that there had been a greater diversity of birdlife on or around the lake, with an island restored to allow duck and other ground nesting birds to raise chicks without the risk of predation by foxes.
Over the last couple of years, our pupils have been supporting local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust with their ‘Together for Trees’ campaign – looking 100,000 trees in the local area. Pupils helped launch the campaign by planting 2000 trees, whilst undertaking voluntary work as part of their John Muir Award, a national environmental scheme encouraging people to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.
We are immensely proud to have been recognised for our work in the community in the last two years, winning awards at the Independent School Parent Awards in 2019 and the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) awards in 2020.
“We have tripled the number of pupil hours invested in the community and quadrupled the number of pupils working on these projects. Everyone benefits from this scheme – our pupils gain satisfaction from their work and learn the importance of contributing to society.” Said Mr Harrison, Sedbergh School Headmaster.
On Saturdays, our small conservation group go out to Dentdale, located just outside of Sedbergh, to help a local landowner restore fellside habitats by removing invasive plant species such as rhododendron around Brackensgill falls, and restoring footpaths in the area. Restoration work like this has featured in our annual #SedberghGivesBack charity day. Established in 2019, Mr Harrison changed end of term trips for a day of charitable work to be undertaken by all staff and pupils. In each of the 9 Boarding Houses, our community give back to local projects to help provide much-needed support to those that need it most.