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Emma Pledger (right) and the pupils at Great Ballard School starting work on their arbour, funded by Miller Homes Southern

Great Ballard School pupils rebuild forest school den

With the help of Miller Homes Southern, Great Ballard School is restoring their outdoor shelter

Posted by Lucinda Reid | May 25, 2018 | Sustainability

Miller Homes Southern is helping Chichester school children revive a previous den-building project this summer.

A willow-clad wood structure known as the ‘arbour’ was built by students at Great Ballard School last year, and became unusable due to weather damage and being eaten by surrounding wildlife. Miller Homes Southern stepped up to help, donating £200 to help its youngsters restore the outdoors shelter in its Forest School facility.

This means that the children at the school will have an engaging project to undertake this summer, as well as a safe place to play and shelter outdoors.

Kim Willcock, Sales Director at Miller Homes Southern, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the local community and are delighted we’re able to help such a deserving cause! The Forest School is a unique and wonderful resource for the children of Great Ballard – they’re sure to benefit from having a cosy place to sit outdoors and enjoy the surroundings.”

“After speaking with the school and hearing about the project, we knew it was something we had to invest in. Creating safe spaces is a key priority for us, so we want to help these children have theirs too. We can’t wait to see how they get on,” said Kim.

Emma Pledger, Forest School Leader at Great Ballard School, is excited for the work to begin: “When I first brought the arbour into the school the children had so much fun turning it into a shelter, using sticks and willow to add to the framework. It looked beautiful, but sadly the nearby deer were also drawn towards the den and ate most of the walls! When storms blew in and damaged it further, it meant we could no longer use the structure. I can’t wait to start planning the project with the class and to restore our arbour back to its former glory.”

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