‘Awesome’ woodland walk created at Funtington school

Funtington Primary School pupils are delighted with their new woodland walk, created by student teachers Toby Broom Deanna Hills and Willow Craigie. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks170909-1
Funtington Primary School pupils are delighted with their new woodland walk, created by student teachers Toby Broom Deanna Hills and Willow Craigie. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks170909-1

An overgrown area at Funtington Primary School has been turned into a lovely woodland walk for the children.

Previously unusable, the disused woodland has been transformed with the help of three final-year teaching students from the University of Chichester.

Deanna Hills, Willow Craigie and Toby Broom were set the task of creating a woodland walk from scratch as part of one of their assignments.

Deanna said: “We were very excited about this project and couldn’t wait to make a difference.

“Initially, the area was not usable and was overgrown. When we originally visited, we saw great potential in the area and created a plan of action.

“Over the course of completing the project we have developed our skills and overcome different challenges. We were also very fortunate to have so many generous donations from different people and companies.”

Chichester Tree Services and Wickes in Chichester donated woodchip, Wyevale Garden Centre Chichester supplied edging stepping stones and some of the plants, and Mid Kent Tools and Fixings provided handmade fairy doors, an integral part of the woodland walk.

The Funtington Primary School PTA provided the funding needed and everyone at the school supported the project.

Toby said: “We had lots of generous donations from parents and companies in the community and we would like to celebrate this new area and give people the recognition that they deserve for helping.”

The woodland walk was officially opened at an outdoor assembly for the whole school.

The trio showed everyone what they had created ready for the teachers to use in their lessons.

Deanna added: “We also showed the eco council round as they were key in the making of this project.

“The school was very happy with what we have created and the area was put to use straightaway by one of the classes, who have just started a topic on plants. It was great to see it being used so effectively and the children really enjoying it.

“We are very proud of the woodland walk and hope it lasts a long time and provides the school with a great space for learning.”

The children were asked to evaluate the project and gave an average mark of ten out of ten for the woodland walk. They particularly liked the fairy doors and declared the whole walk ‘awesome’.

Teachers said the walk was perfect for the topic on plants and that they would get a lot of use out of it. They were impressed how it had all come together and said the student teachers had made good use of the space available.