Year 4 pupils from Ashfield Junior in Workington have been discovering the wonders of Siddick Ponds.
Following a site visit to the nature reserve, ten creative teams worked over one week with John Conibear from Dynamic Studio. Working to a brief from the client, Allerdale Borough Council, they researched the wildlife at Siddick Ponds, producing lots of ideas that explain why the area is so special. Some of the work is used on this website and some also forms part of a display in the bird hide at the reserve.
The teams have produced drawings, written poems, created raps and shared countless facts – all showing how diverse the bird life is at the Ponds and how rich a habitat it is for a whole variety of animals and plants.
As part of the week, the teams had a visit from world-renowned wildlife photographer Laurie Campbell. Laurie explained how patient he needs to be waiting for birds or animals to appear. He arrived in his camper van, where he lives when he is working in the wild, and he also brought his camouflage tent, where he hides when he is photographing animals so they can’t see him. In the afternoon he worked with the children, taking photographs of all the wildlife that could be found in the schools grounds.
See the photos that were taken with Laurie.
Author and illustrator Lizzie Finlay also worked with the pupils over two days, sharing her tips on drawing and writing, and working with each team on their stories and bird illustrations.
The week ended with a presentation of all the teams’ work to an invited panel. This comprised representatives from Allerdale Borough Council, Robin Rigg West Cumbria Fund, and the headteacher. The panel were impressed with all the ideas and provided encouraging feedback which has influenced the final work that has been used. Finally, the children finished the presentation with their song ‘Hiking far and wide’, performed to the tune of Dolly Parton’s ‘Nine to Five’ – a rousing and enthusiastic end to a project that is the foundation of this website and the display in the Siddick Ponds bird hide.