Spilsby students have wild time on nature reserve project

Students have been going out in the wild as part of a community project.

Pupils from the Woodlands Academy out on the wild at Snipe Dales.
Pupils from the Woodlands Academy out on the wild at Snipe Dales.

A number of pupils at Woodlands Academy in Spilsby have been visiting Snipe Dales Nature Reserve to contribute to the management and enhancement of the countryside..

The programme is for 24 months and two visits have been undertaken to date.

So far the progress learners have made is fantastic.

The project lasts for two years.


Three pupils undertook the initial visit and were tasked with clearing a large fallen oak tree.

To simplify the task, the reserve manager had chain sawed the tree into manageable sections.

Although daunting at first, the pupils soon started to create a dead hedge/habitat pile, which will benefit the array of fauna and flora species found throughout the site.

Progress so far has been tremendous.

They worked hard in the wet conditions, from heavy rain to the saturated ground, demonstrating their skills with tools, instruction following, perseverance, and the drive to see the project through to completion.

The reserve manager said: “Superb job, thank you to the pupils!

"We have an intricate structure, beautifully woven together, which is stable and should provide numerous opportunities for wildlife, as well as being quite a feature in its own right.”


A different set of pupils undertook the second day’s visit, keen to work hard and try new experiences.

The task for today was to clear a small stream of roseberry willow herb, freeing up debris and increasing the flow. Although it was a very frosty and cold start, pupils jumped into the task and soon made a good indent into the challenge.

In the afternoon, they were tasked with coppicing hazel trees, opening up footpaths, and allowing more light into shaded areas of the reserve.

At the end of the day, the pupils, unprompted, thanked the reserve manager for allowing them to work for the day.

This showed the positive aspects of the community project and how it aids the social skills of the pupils.

Over the course of the year, pupils will develop and enhance their Land-Based Studies skills, develop their awareness of the natural world, work and talk to people in industry, as well as develop a multitude of personal skills and qualities.