On Wednesday 7th November ten students of Baylis Court School visited Herschel Park and Nature reserve in Slough to take on their Play Your Part Community Action day. The students arrived at 10.30am and were greeted by the Park's Manager Ian. Upon arrival, with some slight apprehension of what to expect from the day, Ian kindly explained the task that they were about to undertake. The day's activity involved cutting back an area of bramble that had overgrown along one of the paths of the nature reserve. He further explained the purpose of this exercise, that by cutting back the tall bramble, next year in the spring it would grow back with thicker, closer to the ground and with more blackberries which will give the animals and insects that live in the park the greater opportunity to thrive. After the students were briefed on how to use a range of gardening tools, they picked up their tool of choice, put on their gloves and got to work!
In small groups, the students chose specific area to clear, with each group setting a goal of what they thought they might achieve. By lunch time the students of Baylis Court were already surprised at how much they had managed to clear. Due the drizzley day of intermittent rain the Park Manager Ian kindly erected a marquee for us to each to our lunch. We were very thankful as just as we unwrapped our sandwiched the heavens opened and the down pour began. As we began to get our gear back on and head back to complete round two of bramble clearing the clouds cleared and the sun began to shine. Luck was quite clearly on our side.
Each group worked very hard, showed some excellent teamwork and communication skills and not only far exceeded the park manager’s expectations of how much bramble they cleared but the students also far exceeded their own.
As we waited for our transport to pick us all up to head back to school the students spent some time reflecting on the Talents students had used, what they’d learnt and the skills they had developed. The students recognised the importance of communication and teamwork, as well as the important role that they could play in helping within their community.
Overall, the day was soggy, yet successful!
A huge thank you to Ian at Hurschel Park for accommodating us, we had a great day.