From a distance the bank beside the path in Hopeward Wood, cleared of ivy by P7 pupils from Donibristle Primary at the end of November, still looks mostly like bare soil, but a closer inspection reveals dense drifts of seedlings that have emerged from dormant seed. No doubt many will turn out to be Sticky Willie, an ever present path-side annual with large hard seeds easily spread by people and animals, but there will be other plants too, and not all seeds germinate this early in the year, so there will be more variety to be seen as the year progresses.
Elsewhere, in Bathing House Wood, on the path-side area cleared of nettles by P7s at the end of 2015, the feathery leaves of Cow Parsley are already well grown and the Snowdrops beside the bat-box tree are already emerging from the carpet of dead leaves. Winter may still be with us, but nature’s preparations for the spring are well in hand.
All this shows the benefits that can be achieved by the efforts of these enthusiastic and hardworking pupils.