We can all do our bit to help protect our environment, teaching the next generation to respect the planet and how to look after it is one way we hope to inspire children to follow the ethos "leave it better than you found it".
Most children know about the importance of things like re-cycling and not wasting water, they also know about Climate change and how the Earth is in trouble but how often are they given the opportunity to do something about it? Unfortunately we are living in a "throw away" age where it seems to be easier and cheaper to buy new rather than spend a little time being creative with what we already have.
Our team want to give kids the chance to not only think about how they can make a difference but explore different ways to re-use, re-purpose and re-cycle rather than throw away.
As a team we use used tyres for problem solving games and building obstacle courses, we save up plastic bottles to be used in Rocket build sessions, we save ribbons, beads, pine cones, acorns, feathers, sticks, jars and bottles for the kids to get crafty with in Arts-cycle sessions.
This Summer we decided to turn Arts-cycle into a 4 week project that all of the visiting kids could get involved with, we had already made plastic bottle greenhouses at a previous Camp and wanted to include planting on a larger scale. After seeing Lesley "The Arty One" create wonderful fairy gardens as Christmas gifts we decided that this would be a great way to get the kids excited about the project.
Up-cycling is great fun and a fantastic way to get kids using their imaginations, the first Arts-cycle session of the Summer was about planning and prep, with the instructors guiding the group to create their own vision of what we could make out of this space.
Once we had a plan the kids got to work making things, foraging for natural items and we started to do some planting. When choosing plants we decided to go for herbs that are good for the Bees that could also be used by the Schools kitchen, showing the children how easy it is to have these in your own back garden and the wonderful uses they have for us and our wildlife.
After planting and decorating the first half of the Fairy Garden, complete with house, pool, playground, hammock and Surf shack the children decided that it would be nice for the Fairy's to have their own allotment. For this half we chose colourful Pansies to bring in an Alice in Wonderland feel but Pansies don't just look pretty, they are hardy plants that can stand up to the cold, they are annual, which means they return each year and they attract Butterflies bringing even more magic to the garden.
Of course no Fairy Garden is complete without fairy lights, we chose solar powered lights to hang on the fence around the allotment making this just a beautiful at night.
With the Fairy Garden coming along nicely all the Plant box needed was a lick of paint and a rope ladder to really finish the job.
The team really enjoyed seeing this Garden come to life, watching the kids imaginations sparked with creativity as well as teaching them important life skills including planting and looking after different types of plants.
Our Arts-cycle Project took a total of 12 hours this Summer and we are very proud of everyone that helped bring this vision to life, we hope that you take your newly learnt skills with you and keep your fingers green.
We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Mike at Enterprise Links who was kind enough to fund this Project. When he found out about what we had planned, he was more than happy to back the Project meaning we could get the tools and supplies needed to transform this over grown plant box at Landau Forte (Qems) into something we hope will inspire hundreds of children.