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Barley and Barkway (VA) Church of England First Schools Federation

‘Christian Love in Action’

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Forest School

Newsells – our wild life area


Through a very generous donation from the Jakobs Foundation and Newsells Stud, Barkway and Barley schools have access to a large plot of natural land on the stud, falling between our two schools.  This area is used regularly by the schools in many different ways, not just for environmental science but for collective worship, inspiration for art and English to mention a few.

Along with parents, staff and governors we have carried out considerable work in the area:

We asked for donations of plants and bulbs then set to, planting in parts of the area depending on whether shady or exposed using a mixture of bulbs and wildflowers.


The children helped with building bug hotels using wood from the estate.  We check regularly to see how the inhabitants are faring.

Some trees were considered to be too dangerous to leave standing.  Once felled, we were able to arrange wood, some circles and some longer pieces of trunk into a seating area/clambering area.  We picnic here and read stories.


We wanted a pond to increase the scope of the wildlife in the area so we began digging and lining a pond.  We have added some pond vegetation.

We have made bat and bird boxes for the area and installed these.  We plan to set up an infra-red camera to see what happens at night time.


Activity at this area is not restricted to the summer but we have greater use of the site at then.  It is intended for children to use the area at least fortnightly.  Staff have received training in its safe use and have many ideas for using it to its maximum potential.