A Newt-iful Summer at Skelton Grange

Children and volunteers at Skelton Grange Environment Centre are looking forward to a newt-iful summer thanks to the construction of a fantastic new pond dipping area at the centre.

The centre piece is a new dipping platform that allows 10 or more children to safely investigate what creatures might be living in the pond.

The pond platform will be officially opened on Monday the 6th of August, when volunteers and supporters of the project will be able to have a dip to see what amphibians and invertebrates they can find!

Volunteer Helen Jaques said:

“The project has been designed to allow more children and families to safely access and enjoy the ponds.

“It’s great for them to be able to see tadpoles, newts and diving beetles in their natural habitat – and the children always really enjoy it! The new platform has been a massive improvement to the space and many of the children who use it have never seen wildlife like this before.”

The area also includes ample seating, including a bench with carvings of pond creatures.

The construction of the new pond area has been overseen by The Conservation Volunteers; a national charity, established in 1959, whose aim is to reclaim green spaces important to the local community.

The pond platform and new dipping area was the result of contributions from a range of supporters.

Starbucks Youth Action contributed £2,500 to enable the construction of the platform, which was carried out as a series of training days to teach young volunteers construction skills. ETM and Yorkshire Water assisted with the hard landscaping; contributing a skilled team with a digger, to prepare the site for construction.

The paths and benches surrounding the pond have been part of the ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ project which has been organised by The Friends of Skelton Grange. They received a grant from Groundwork UK and The Big Lottery fund’s Community Spaces programme, to develop an exciting self-guided nature and discovery trail on the site.

There are lots of other practical projects going on at Skelton Grange over the summer, with drop-in volunteering events every Friday from 10am-3:30pm. For more information please contact the centre 0113 2430815, or email skelton@tcv.org.uk. Alternatively you can check out the website www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange for further details on the range of opportunities available.