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Artistic appreciation from Northleaze School

With the help of LANCE Trustees, and eco-curriculum expert Tom Walmsley, the pupils at Northleaze established their own mini-meadow in April last year - and have been expanding the spaces for wildlife in their school grounds ever since.

Inspiration from a bigger meadow

On a grey day in July, members of Northleaze School Eco Council met up with teachers, teaching assistants, two willing parents and a couple of trustees from LANCE. Their goal was to walk from the school to Lark Meadow and, along the way, to see how many butterflies could be seen.

Without sunshine and with a chill breeze, there weren't many butterflies on the wing. But the walk along the tree-lined Ashton Brook and over farmland gave us plenty of opportunity to talk about the importance of wildlife corridors and conservation headlands. Words that can sound dry and divorced from reality but spring into life when seen, heard, and felt in the landscape.

Wildlife corridors and conservation headlands

After all, birds and butterflies can't exist in island refuges. They need corridors to travel from one place to another. And, like a house, corridors need to lead somewhere. In a house, there are rooms. Outside, there have to be similar places - conservation headlands - rooms within which there are enough space for populations to breed, increase, and move on.

The official term for all this is Nature Recovery Networks. So, not only did the Eco Council discover a local wildlife corridor, conservation headland, and how their own meadow fits into the local network, but a sneaky blackberry or two might also have gone down well!

Inspired by their visit, we were delighted that the school's Eco-Council wanted to contribute some hand-made artwork to adorn the fence to Lark Meadow.

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