Eco-conscious schoolkids team up with AJC Group to create wildlife haven at new housing development

AJC Group working with pupils from St Joseph's Catholic Primary School to build a hibernaculum in the grounds of their Lindsay Road development in Poole.

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: May 7, 2024 | Updated: 7th May 2024

A group eco-conscious young people from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School have teamed up with affordable housing contractor, AJC Group, to create a fantastic hibernaculum at their new housing development site in Poole.

The initiative aims to support local wildlife and provide a safe habitat for creatures during the colder months.

12 school children from years 4 and 5 of nearby St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School visited the Lindsay Oaks development in Branksome Park.

The children rolled up their sleeves and took part in a hands-on project to build the wildlife haven and learn about the importance of biodiversity and conservation efforts.

Under the guidance of AJC Group’s construction team, the children worked together to build the hibernaculum using sustainable materials and eco-friendly practices.

The hibernaculum will serve as a permanent feature of the new housing development, providing a valuable home for local wildlife for years to come.

A hibernaculum is an underground wildlife habitat that creates a safe insulated space for amphibians, reptiles and hedgehogs to hibernate throughout the winter months.

Nicky O’Donoghue, Deputy Head of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, said: “We were delighted AJC Group invited us along to the new development.

“The children had such a great time building the hibernaculum and really getting stuck in.

“They loved getting crafty and painting some rocks to decorate the top of the habitat as well planting some wildflower seeds, and a particular highlight was watching the digger finish off covering the hibernaculum.

“The children absolutely loved it and were telling the other children all about it when we got back to school.

“AJC Group also kindly ran an assembly for us earlier in the week, to educate the whole school on  the importance of creating a habitat for local wildlife.

“We learnt that a hole filled with layers of rocks, logs, broken bricks and unused drain pipes provides safe access and lots of nooks and crannies for a variety of native species to take refuge. It was fascinating!”

Natalie Gomez, Client Relations Manager at AJC Group, said: “We would like to thank the pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School for creating this amazing wildlife habitat for Lindsay Oaks!

“Following the activity we donated some of the materials we used on the day to one of the Year 3 classes, so they could build their own hibernaculum on the school field.

“We hope this inspires and encourages the children to also enjoy eco-focussed activities at home!”

The scheme at Lindsay Road in Branksome Park is being delivered in conjunction with affordable housing provider Abri. Once complete, it will provide a collection of 44 much-needed new affordable homes.

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