Students go wild with ground-breaking work

SERC animal management students who are transforming an unused area of land on the College grounds into an outdoor classroom entitled Here We Grow as part of their coursework, thanks to support from wild flower planting project Grow Wild. The students come from as far afield as Lisburn, Hillsborough, Dromore and Rathfriland
SERC animal management students who are transforming an unused area of land on the College grounds into an outdoor classroom entitled Here We Grow as part of their coursework, thanks to support from wild flower planting project Grow Wild. The students come from as far afield as Lisburn, Hillsborough, Dromore and Rathfriland

As part of their coursework, local students have transformed a neglected woodland in South Eastern Regional College grounds into an outdoor classroom.

With the support of ‘Grow Wild’, a UK-wide project aimed at transforming unused spaces with wild flowers. and help from the school of construction, animal management students have been reinvigorating the site to increase biodiversity in the area.

SERC animal management students Rachel Connolly, Rebekah Frazer, Claire Withers and Chloe Crozier at work in the college grounds.

SERC animal management students Rachel Connolly, Rebekah Frazer, Claire Withers and Chloe Crozier at work in the college grounds.

They are adding wild flowers and bird boxes to attract insects and wildlife. Newly planted areas are to be created in a previously overgrown part of the garden.

Since the project began at the start of May, the students have already excavated the site, prepared the soil, cleared damaged hedes, constructed paths, installed bird-boxes, feeders and insect hotels, and planyted a native wildflower garden and vegetable patch.

The students will also be setting up their own SERC company selling organic, college-grown fruit, vegetables, plants and herbs.

Hillsborough student Sarah Watson said: “I am really enjoying working on this project. I have the opportunity to learn new skills.

“I would definitely recommend a course at SERC to anyone who wanted an exciting, rewarding career and the chance to learn on the job rather than in the classroom.”

SERC animal management tutor Julie Armstrong said: “This really is an inspiring student environmental project and is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain experience which will look great on their CV . . . Our aim is to encourage students to develop skills such as team work, resilience and risk-taking and this project has given them the perfect environment to do just that. “