21 Feb 2024

The Nature Park's first boost for biodiversity

Sofia Metcalf-Riener

The National Education Nature Park's first 'grey-to-green' habitat improvement has been created! The Nest Nursery in Birmingham have been following the Nature Park process to transform an area of their site for people and nature, which has resulted in them installing a pond - in a site that was previously a fenced-off area of rubble - to provide pupils with the opportunity to interact with freshwater wildlife. 

Creating or improving spaces for nature to thrive is the focus of the first year of the National Education Nature Park. By changing parts of our ‘grey’ landscape of human-made areas back to natural habitat, however tiny, we are creating homes wildlife to move into and flourish. Natural habitats boost wellbeing, calmness and coolness on a site, and can improve water drainage and climate resilience. 

Using the Explore Your School Site and Start Planning for Nature activities, the pupils and staff at The Nest talked about what they wanted in their outdoor space, and one of the ideas the pupils came up with was a pond. With their local park having no stream or pond, they recognised that pupils did not have the learning opportunities that access to water provides. 

Using the Pools of water supporting guidance, The Nest started installing their pond during the winter. They engaged with local help, and builders came on site with a mini digger to break through the rubble and completed the installation quickly.   

The Nest hope that their pond will become home to lots of wildlife and help increase the biodiversity of their site. This is just the start of their Nature Park journey, and they hope to enhance other areas of their outdoor space for nature, including developing a secret garden area and planting more flowers. 

The importance of outdoor learning

The outdoors has always been a big part of the pedagogy at the Nest Nursery. Following the The Curiosity Approach, they aim to give children free access to the outdoors in all weathers and hope the pupils will benefit from this contact with the natural world. The Nature Park has helped them with this goal — enabling them to use their outdoor space more. 


The Nest Nursery's top tips for other education settings

'Once you show young children how much fun they can have interacting with nature, they will often do it for themselves. We provide the knowledge and share the enthusiasm and they grow learn and thrive. It promotes independence and provides a base for learning and development'. 

A huge congratulations to The Nest for creating our first Nature Park habitat improvement — we can’t wait to see what else they get up to!  


Take part

Ponds and pools of water are just one of the ways you can enhance grey space and welcome more nature on to your site. Follow the Nature Park process and use our range of guidance to identify how you and your learners can transform your space for people and wildlife. 

Not joined the Nature Park yet? Register to join thousands of schools across the country taking action to boost biodiversity.