Fundraising for the ducks

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Children are attempting to raise £27,000 to build a home for wildlife at their school.

Youngsters at St Margaret’s School, Ifield, have been writing to local companies and charities asking for donations to help build a mini nature reserve.

The Crawley Observer received a handwritten letter – bordered with frogs – from eight-year-old Georgia Matthews from Three Bridges.

The letter read: “At St Margaret’s School we would like to build a large pond for the ducks, because the ducks don’t have a home. We had two ducks which had babies and they need somewhere to live.

“The reason why we want a pond for the ducks is that our nature is suffering because all the plants are dying and now the insects have gone away.”

Some pupils have even written to Prince Charles to ask him for a donation.

Unfortunately they have not yet received a response.

Assistant headteacher Thomas Moore said he hoped to inspire creativity and a love of nature.

He added: “Imagine sketching the beauty of dragonflies or creating a piece of writing from the viewpoint of a frog or making a record of all the different species that colonise the habitat that you have created for them.

“We can help to instil a love of nature with some of these children.”

Teachers and pupils have been fund raising since spring and so far have raised £2,500.

Parent Dan Verbeeten, of P and J contractors, has offered to excavate the site free of charge.

Local charities and organisations that have contributed to the funds so far include: Let’s FACE it! RB Commercial Heating, Advance Electrical, Ifield Chestnut House.

Mr Moore added: “By having all of this on the children’s doorstep means we won’t be incurring coach costs to take children to these habitats, which in turn means we will be saving our parents money.

“It is all about giving children experiences that encourage them to want to learn more.”

The nature centre will be offered to other local groups such as schools and retirement homes, to provide a resource for the wider community.

To donate to the project contact Mr Moore on