12th July 2021
This was our final week working with Davina on our poli-patches. It was surprising to see how many new flowers had sprouted up since just last week. New flowers brought many more pollinators buzzing around doing their thing. Davina taught us the names of the new flowers but explained that they won’t re-grow next year and that we must choose whether we want to plant grass or sustainable plants in their place - we chose sustainable plants.
We watched a video recording which Davina had put together to show the Britain in Bloom judges, explaining what we've been doing over the past few weeks - https://youtu.be/B-Lfp96bAuY
The children potted and took away an oak sapling each which had been grown from an acorn. Their job now is to research how to look after it and what to do with it as it grows.
The children were encouraged to come back in the summer holidays and join the new Oldway club where they can help make their ideas a reality by building animal houses and working with an artist who is going to be commissioned to create a piece of art within the grounds.
A sign will be erected in the middle of the poli-patches.
5th July 2021
Today our job was to tidy up the flower beds, weed and water them.
The children used shears to straighten the edges then they were taught which ones were weeds and took them all out so that the weeds didn’t compromise the growth of the flowers. We finished by watering each bed. We had a close look to see whether there were any pollinators
present, there were a variety of bugs buzzing around!
Britain in Bloom judges are coming next week to have a look at the patches. Davina took videos to show the judges.
We were surprised to see how much the flowers had grown in the last 2 weeks.
We were helped today by Fiona from Oldway Volunteers.
We finished off by chanting a rain charm so that rain would continue to fall and look after the beds.
14th June 2021
Today was all about learning the history of Oldway and the Singer family (who built it) so that the children understand what they're trying to maintain and it's importance to our community.
We were lucky enough to have been offered a professional tour by Sue Sanders - a qualified tour guide.
Sue took us all around the external parts of the mansion and gardens, explaining the history and showing us historical photographs along the way.
She told us many interesting facts including how Isaac Singer made his money and came to build Oldway on what was once just fields. Also how the main drive would have crossed through Oldway Primary School along to Higher Polsham Road. We looked at the changes Isaac’s youngest son - Paris - made to the mansion and grounds following his father's death and how the plants now used in the gardens are sustainable rather than seasonal.
Next week we will be looking at how to plant a tree and the children will be given their very own acorn tree to take home and plant where they wish.
24th May 2021
We were determined to get back out today even though it was still a little wet. Firstly we went to check on the progress of our flower beds which are coming on nicely with flowers sprouting up in each of the four beds.
Next we walked over to the mansion where we took shelter and began our discussion about recycling which was today’s topic. We talked about how recycling in our own homes can make a difference right now, what to recycle and how. Davina wants the children to work on a recycling project and take on the task of taking over the recycling at home to try and make sure we are recycling as much as possible and in the correct way.
The children are going to try to increase the amount of items that get recycled each week in their own homes by reducing what goes into the big bin for landfill.
It has been found that in Torbay alone 52% of what goes into the big bin could be recycled.
The children played a game of ‘what goes into each recycling bin’ and learnt that car batteries and broken electrical items can also be recycled through these!
17th May 2021
We didn’t get outside today due to the weather so we all got together and talked about our findings from last week which were forwarded onto Davina.
Next we discussed their ideas and action taken on the Green Influencers Scheme grant application. The group wrote up their ideas on how they would spend the money to improve the local green space and have sent it onto Davina who will now see if any of them can be put forward. The ideas ranged from opening a shop where the profits would be spent on the upkeep of the mansion, ways to decorate the area and make it more appealing, a film to advertise the space to the public and building animal houses to encourage wildlife to thrive.
Tim from Oldway volunteers sent us the following messages:
He is very happy with them being in the park and interested in helping. He also says he thinks it will be really exciting to see the group find out what a huge and successful impact they can have.
There is talk of having a scarecrow competition in the summer and he would love to open the event up to the group to run games/ fundraising and to dress up etc and to take charge of the day!
In a couple of weeks he is going to be giving each child their own baby oak tree to plant and take home and nurture - we will be doing some work around this on what we do now lives on in the future and its effects go on beyond us!
Finally, Davina is going to try to arrange a tour for the students which they will be able to invite their families to for free hopefully.
10th May 2021
The children were excited to see that some of the flowers in their beds were beginning to sprout.
Today Davina explained that we would be mainly having an observation day, walking around Oldway grounds asking people questions; what do they use Oldway for? How often do they come? How do they know about it? What would they like to change? These were some of the responses gathered:
Some of the reasons for the volunteers volunteering were: loneliness, love walking and being around Oldway, make money from the hut to spend on the gardens.
We also saw lots of wildlife such as squirrels and birds
Project explanation - Ernest Cook Green Influencers Project, young to take ownership and pride of local area, you are the tomorrow, your opinion matters.
Finally Davina explained the seed fund grant available, £360 grant for a good idea, tools? Equipment? Tidy up area? Art Glen? Habitat area? Film advertising Oldway? Children should test popularity of the idea before putting it forward.
26th April 2021
Davina from Groundworks and Tim from Oldway Gardens Volunteers introduced themselves to the group.
They want to know what people want from their local park and what they find important.
Tim had prepared x4 beds and Davina explained how and where to plant including how many sets to use.
First the children used trowels to turn over the soil, next they used small pots to scatter the seeds evenly, following this they raked the soil over and finally watered the beds and patted down.
In the event of no rain we will plan to take it in turns to water the beds, children were asked to bring in a watering can from home if possible