Pupils to team up with ‘Chi Nats’ in creating woodland walk area

Phillipa Arnott of the Chichester Natural History Society with members of Funtington Primary School's Eco Council
Phillipa Arnott of the Chichester Natural History Society with members of Funtington Primary School's Eco Council

Primary school pupils have enlisted the help of a local natural history society to develop their school’s woodland walk.

Funtington Primary School pupils in West Ashling were thrilled to be visited by members of the Chichester Natural History Society who explained the importance of helping local wildlife.

The youngsters also presented the school’s Eco Council with equipment such as a Hedgehog Igloo and a bug hotel to help get them started on the Woodland Walk area, which is part of the Society’s Legacy Projects Scheme. Funtington is one of three schools in the area to be assisted by the Society’s Legacy Projects team which aims to reconnect children with nature.

Phillipa Arnott from the Natural History Society said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project with Funtington Primary School and hope that over the years it will allow many children the opportunity to develop a love of nature and the outdoors.”

The Chichester Natural History Society, Chi Nats for short, is a friendly group of local people with a shared interest in all aspects of wildlife, who have been studying and recording all branches of natural history for more than 50 years.

The organisation works in cooperation with other like-minded groups to help conserve the flora and fauna of Sussex. Members of the society share a common interest in natural history and while some are experts in particular wildlife fields, others are newcomers to the subject.

Over the coming weeks and months, members of Chi Nats will work with pupils to establish the Woodland Walk including developing a bog garden to encourage amphibians and planting to encourage important pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Pupils will also help to place bat and bird boxes which will attract a wide variety of wildlife to the area.

Amy Borbone, a year six pupil and member of the School’s Eco Council said: “We are really excited about the Woodland Walk as it will attract new wildlife and give the animals new home. It will also encourage more children to use the area.”