Waste site operators help school develop outdoor classroom Midsummer Wood

Ground breaking for new nature pond at Grendon Underwood School
Ground breaking for new nature pond at Grendon Underwood School

A new project has been launched which will help pupils at Grendon Underwood School learn more about wildlife.

FCC Environment, operators of the Greatmoor Energy from Waste site, have joined forces with the school to enhance their outdoor classroom area Midsummer Wood.

The project, which will support the school’s science and art education programmes, includes an outdoor seating area for teaching, boxes for birds, bats and tawny owls, a fire pit, areas for wild play, bug hotels and more.

It will also include a nature pond, designed to allow pond dipping and other wildlife studies.

It is hoped the pond will become a home for frogs, newts, dragonflies and all manner of pond and plant life.

FCC Environment, in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Counci has sponsored the project as part of their efforts to be a good neighbour throughout their 30 year residual waste treatment contract.

Project manager Toby China said that children engaging in outdoor activities and taking responsibility for school environmental projects is proven to increase academic achievement.

He added that co-ordinated and delivered correctly, such programmes can seriously enhance the science, nature, and art curriculums of a school.

Gillian Sinclair, project director at FCC Environment, said: “Being a good neighbour is vital and here at FCC we love to get involved in community projects, especially ones as exciting as this.

“We hope the pond will really enhance the school and the daily lives of its pupils and increaase biodiversity in the area. We’ll be providing manpower and funding for the project and can’t wait to get started.”

Kevin Morrissey, head teacher from Grendon Underwood Combined School, said: “We’re thrilled that we’re getting started with creating the pond.

“It will play a key role in the education of young people bringing scientific learning to life and helping the children to develop a real understanding of issues like the life cycle of animals and plants.

Cllr Warren Whyte, cabinet member for planning and environment at Buckinghamshire County Council, added: “Whenever we engage in contracts with companies we always stress that we want them to be good neighbours and enhance the local community.

“As such, we’re pleased FCC are working with and supporting a local school, as well as other organisations and groups.”

Greatmoor Energy from Waste site, near Calvert, will treat up to 300,000 tonnes of residual waste each year and uses some of the most advanced energy conversion technology in the world.

It has now started treating waste as part of the commissioning process and has commenced producing renewable energy through the export of electricity.

Greatmoor will generate 22MW of electricity throughout the year – equivalent to the energy required to power up to 36,000 homes.