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News article created on 10 November 2016

Schools encouraged to go wild and win canal themed habitat garden

Schools across England & Wales are being given the chance to win a canal-themed habitat garden for their grounds.

Explorers education volunteer with children Explorers education volunteer with children

The Trust and People’s Postcode Lottery have launched a competition inviting primary schools to design a habitat for wildlife inspired by those found along the nation’s network of canals and rivers. One lucky winner will see their own design recreated in their school grounds by a specialist landscape architect.

The competition, called Corridor for Nature, will help children to understand the importance of canals and rivers in providing vital habitats for nature. Pupils will be encouraged to venture outside to survey the school grounds and maybe take inspiration from a visit to their local canal or river. They’ll then use their findings to design a waterway-inspired habitat. They can suggest themes for water and wet areas, make recommendations for wild flowers and hedgerows or design small structures for nesting animals.

All entries will be judged and shortlisted by a team of experts and the winning design will be built within the grounds of the winning school. Runners-up will receive bird boxes and Trust classroom posters.

Exploring their surroundings

Annette Simpson, education and interpretation manager for the Trust said; "This competition is a great opportunity for children to really explore and think about their surroundings in order to design something that is appropriate for their school.

"Whether they live in a rural or urban area, with large school grounds or small, we want them to let their imaginations run free and design something that looks great and will attract wildlife. We hope to see lots of schools heading out into the great outdoors and taking part."

Clara Govier, head of charities at Peoples Postcode Lottery, said; "The nation’s canals and rivers are great places for nature and a visit is a brilliant way of bringing learning to life so we’re delighted to support this competition.

"We hope children have lots of fun as they get out there and seek inspiration for their very own waterway-themed garden. It will be a wonderful addition to any school grounds and we’re really looking forward to having a look at all the entries and seeing the winning design take shape.”

The competition is being run by the Trust’s ‘Explorers’ education programme and has been developed to support the Science and Geography curriculum, with strong links to Design Technology and Art. There are a number of online resources available to help pupils with their designs.

To download resources and find out more about the competition, including the terms and conditions, go to Explorers