Over 500 Leeds Nursery and Primary schoolchildren have been enlisted to “Save Our Butterflies” by Roundhay Rotary Club. Following the success of a similar scheme being run in Skipton this pilot scheme being run in Leeds for the first time makes Leeds the largest city in the UK to be involved in the Butterfly Garden Competition. The ecological project asks children to design and build a garden that is butterfly friendly by using as much recycled material as possible.
Derek Davidson, Project Director and his team of Rotary volunteers will deliver to each participating school, an old car tyre in which to grow the garden, 2 bags of compost supplied by Leeds in Bloom from recycled garden waste collected from Leeds households, £10 for purchasing seeds and a butterfly kit supplied by Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
“With 75% the UK butterfly species declining in the past decade as their habitats disappear, this is a wonderful opportunity for children to start and halt the decline by beginning to understand the creatures requirements and that by planting the food they require in a small area they can start to help these necessary pollinating creatures survive, even in a large city such as Leeds”. “This is a wonderful project and we fully endorse it”. “It’s great to be able to support nursery and primary education in this area where children can learn from experiences in the real world”, said Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
The project has been designed to fit in with the national curriculum for knowledge, skills and understanding KS2 and KS3 and each school has been issued with a booklet showing how each stage of the project can cross referenced to meet the curriculum requirements.
“When I have visited the schools to explain the project the enthusiasm of the teachers and schoolchildren has been amazing”. “They just can’t wait to get started on the project and the children were coming up with ideas on where to site their garden and asked lots of questions.” “They also liked the idea of colouring in the butterfly templates so they could begin their story board of the project”, said Derek Davidson, Rotary project director.
The project was launched on Friday 2nd March at Mill Field Primary School, Potternewton Mount, Leeds.