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Nature Reserve

  • Students working in the nature reserve
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North Gosforth Academy has its very own Nature Reserve on site.  This is an incredible and rare resource, and students work hard to improve and maintain it.

The reserve is a haven for multiple habitats - pond, woodland, hedge-rows, grassland and scrubland and has numerous native trees – oak, ash, beech, rowan, sycamore, hazel, hawthorn with some having grown to over 30 feet tall from the sapling trees that were planted over 35 years ago. 

As time has progressed the pond has evolved to sustain frogs, newts, fish and various birds.  There are numerous small mammals that can be seen regularly – voles, mice, squirrels, rabbits and larger fox and deer have often left their tracks throughout the reserve.  The array of insects found in all the habitats is spectacular and we have been lucky to be recently involved in a national pollination project to enhance our natural pollinators by planting a wild flower meadow.

As well as providing permanent habitats for many native animal, bird, insect and pond-life species the reserve has numerous regularly used bird boxes, bat boxes and a hibernaculum for our transient species.    

During the last 10 years the reserve has welcomed numerous groups of people that have conserved and improved the reserve to what it is today- Newcastle College, Friends of Ashington Woods, OPAL, Woodland Trust, Wilderness Schools, Polli:Nation Project and a local bee keeper.

Five years ago a dipping platform for the pond was built as well as permanent wooden walk ways across the boggy parts of the reserve.  The Forest School was developed and the bird-watching hide container was positioned to overlook the pond.  It was a great time for the renaissance of the reserve and we were fortunate for the official opening to be joined by BBC weatherman – Paul Moody. 

Over the last 4 years the reserve has been maintained by the John Muir Award Groups and Mrs Long.  The groups have worked to honour John Muir (The Father of Ecology) by conserving ‘their piece of wilderness’.  The students have maintained and improved the paths, made and replenished bird feeding stations, monitored the species present in the reserve – trees, insects, mammals, pond-life and plant species and have enjoyed all the elements to protect and nurture their nature.