VIDEO - School children helping protect rare plant in Ancaster

Primary school children are joining forces with parish councillors and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust to preserve a rare plant only found in their village.

Ancaster School pupils caging a Tall Thrift plant in the cemetery. from left - Rosie Lawson, 9, Mischa Foster, 9, Niamh Morgan, 8, Keeley Creasey, 9, Gustas Kivinskas, 9, and Laura Franklin. EMN-160516-150719001
Ancaster School pupils caging a Tall Thrift plant in the cemetery. from left - Rosie Lawson, 9, Mischa Foster, 9, Niamh Morgan, 8, Keeley Creasey, 9, Gustas Kivinskas, 9, and Laura Franklin. EMN-160516-150719001

The Tall Thrift is so rare it only exists around Ancaster cemetery and the neighbouring Moor Closes nature reserve and on Monday the village school joined councillors in ‘rabbit-proofing’ each flower with wire cages to give them a chance to flower and seed.

Sam Eden, headteacher at Ancaster CofE Primary School, said: “Rabbits really like it as well, so the parish council have asked us to join them and make the children aware of its existence and how they are conserving it.”

The council has been supported by Natural England which has funded a cemetery extension to allow the plant to thrive undisturbed and is also putting up information boards on site about the plant’s significance. Mid UK Recycling has donated £250 towards the project, which will see the pupils return twice more over the year, culminating in a picnic in the summer, explained parish councillor Andy Newton.

Ancaster School pupils caging a Tall Thrift plant in the cemetery. from left - Rosie Lawson, 9, Mischa Foster, 9, Niamh Morgan, 8, Keeley Creasey, 9, Gustas Kivinskas, 9, and Laura Franklin. EMN-160516-150719001

After learning more about the plant, the older children joined Mr Newton on a scavenger hunt to look for insects and plants to gauge the biodiversity on the site.

Mr Eden said: “We are really excited to work alongside the parish council on such a local project.”

It ties in with the pupils’ curriculum topic ‘We are alive’ looking at the natural world, growth and adaptation

Studying wildlife in Ancaster cemetery, pupils inspect rabbit holes, from left - Archie Vangasse, 9, Charlie Baker, 10, Josh Welby, 10, Jack Marsh, 9, and Ryan Chapman, 9. EMN-160516-150734001
Ancaster School pupils caging a Tall Thrift plant in the cemetery. from left - Rosie Lawson, 9, Mischa Foster, 9, Niamh Morgan, 8, Keeley Creasey, 9, Gustas Kivinskas, 9, and Laura Franklin. EMN-160516-150719001
Studying wildlife in Ancaster cemetery, pupils inspect rabbit holes, from left - Archie Vangasse, 9, Charlie Baker, 10, Josh Welby, 10, Jack Marsh, 9, and Ryan Chapman, 9. EMN-160516-150734001