ROCK pools, a waterfall and fish caves are not features you would normally associate with a primary school.

But they will all help Holway Park Community Primary School reach its goal of becoming a Green Flag Eco-School.

Teachers and pupils at the school in Shakespeare Avenue, Taunton, have a renewed emphasis on wildlife after securing a £9,900 Big Lottery Awards for All grant to develop biodiversity.

Marie Palmer, teacher and eco-coordinator, said a dilapidated pond and courtyard area has been redeveloped as a “focal point of the school.”

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She said: “There was a very old, run down pond, and not a lot else. 

“By redeveloping it with a completely child-friendly, natural-looking pond complete with rock pools, a cascading waterfall, fish caves, beautiful aquatic planting to attract dragonflies and other native species, as well as a frog den, the space will now be available for classes to use as part of our outdoor learning for pond dipping and the study of wildlife. It will be a valuable tool in educating our children about ecology. 

“Our grant was for £9,900 to develop biodiversity at our school. This is part of our journey on the Eco Schools Programme and I'm hoping that by the end of the next academic year (2018/2019) we'll have reached our goal of becoming a Green Flag Eco School."

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The development of the courtyard will continue into the next academic year. There are hopes to design and create a rainwater harvesting system to educate children on sustainability.

A 'Guinea Pig Kingdom' will be developed in the courtyard space for the children to care for and enjoy. 

A family fun day will be held at some point in the Autumn term where the new courtyard and pond will be launched. Children are currently working on a name for the area.

Marie added: "We're thrilled to have received such a generous grant from the National lottery Funding.

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"To have transformed our old pond and courtyard into an exciting hub of ecosystems and wildlife is going to have long lasting effects on educating our children about biodiversity. We have been incredibly lucky to work alongside Dan from DU Waterscapes whose knowledge, drive and enthusiasm has been limitless. 

“The teachers and children are now raring to go with pond dipping and wildlife spotting in our very own oasis within our school building."

DU Waterscapes, pond and water feature designers, led the project which has resulted in a fully functional pond and ecosystem.

Dan Upsher, from DU Waterscapes, said: “It was a really enjoyable recent collaboration between DU Waterscapes and Holway Park Primary school, teaching the future generations about freshwater ecosystems and their importance to our native wildlife."