Pupils plant garden to lure tui

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 14:08 28/02/2014

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Pupils at Redwoodtown School in Blenheim have planted an 80-metre-long native garden in the hope of luring tui to their schoolgrounds.

Teacher Angela Parsons was inspired to extend the original small native garden behind the school after she spotted tui in the blue gums in front of the school in 2011.

"It is a short distance from the blue gums to the native garden, so my brain told me it has to be possible to encourage them to move in," she said.

With the help of David Rocksborough, of Forest & Bird, who donated hundreds of native plants to the school, the pupils worked on extending the garden.

"We completed the first part of the garden in 2012 and the final planting extension was just completed at the end of last year and a few replacements after the holidays. The pupils can see the growth over the last two years and are very proud of their hard work," Ms Parsons said.

The pupils did all the planting themselves with help from her and the school caretaker.

A path weaves through the garden and benches are place to provide somewhere for the pupils to enjoy the garden and birdsong.

Bridgett Yarrall is a member of the original group of pupils who started the garden extension.

"We wanted the native birds to come back to our school, but also wanted everyone at school to learn about native plants and see how beautiful they can be," she said.

The next step for the students would be to build birdhouses to encourage birds to settle in the garden.

"We also need to name the garden. We are still thinking of the best way to do this, because the children should definitely be involved - it's their creation after all," Ms Parsons said.

The school hoped to encourage Redwoodtown residents to plant more natives in their gardens as a way to boost the native bird population.

"It would be great if more homes and schools got involved - Blenheim would be a bird haven," Ms Parsons said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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