Change-Makers: The Pond Project
Many venture far and wide to find ways to make a difference. But for NCS grad Emily and her team, the problem was right in front of them; Their school’s 30 meter-wide pond that had become so overgrown with dying trees, its wildlife was dwindling. Here’s how they transformed the aptly-named ‘swamp’ into a beautiful, thriving pond.
The pond sat bang in the middle of two schools. But somewhat ironically, the heart of these schools had little life. “It used to be full of biodiversity – home to an endangered species of newt and adorable ducklings that were once always seen in spring” said Emily. Her team’s mission? To allow biodiversity to thrive and enrich the two communities around it.
And so, they teamed up with not-for-profit organisation, Chiltern Rangers, to cut back and clear up the pond. Throughout day one, around 45 brilliant volunteers felled and removed trees and cut down brambles and bushes.
“Some of us even had to go into the pond to get the felled trees out… we got to wear some gorgeous waders – welly material dungarees that go up to your shoulders!” Emily said. “And while we were at it, we removed countless pieces of rubbish, at least five bin-bags-worth, including my top favourite finds – a tent, a traffic cone, a tyre, a chair, and a toy army man!”
By the end of the day, the pond was completely transformed – so much so, it was unrecognisable. Emily explained, “It’s an area you can now see, and that light can now reach.” The next day brought more volunteers to finish it off and to build a natural fence around it to ensure nobody would fall in – and no pesky rubbish could either, which would protect its wildlife and the environment.
The happy ending didn’t end there. “The pond project is becoming a legacy!” said Emily. “Every year, people will come out and spend a day looking after it. And… we now have ducks again!”
WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU ARE?
There are lots of ways you can make a change for the better and often many local charities who are all-too-willing to help. Why not start by doing what Emily and her team did, by seeing what problems lie close to home.
And if you’ve already taken part in a social action project that you’re proud of, let us know! Tell us all about it here.
The pond renovation has gone a step further today thanks to our students and the @chilternrangers spending the day doing further clearance and creating a dead hedge. Mrs Smith even donned her messy clothes and got stuck in, only just resisting the urge to pop on some waders and a life jacket 😀 The overall result is such an improvement on what it was before Christmas. Now we eagerly await the arrival of a new wave of wildlife! Thank you to everyone for all your hard-work today. #dare2bremarkable