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A year ago Shaftesbury Abbey Primary School’s leaking pond and unsafe decking made it unusable for the children to use.

Now after lots of hard work from the pupils, parents and staff, the pond has been rejuvenated and won an award which will ensure the project is completed.

The award, a Wessex Watermark, will help the school buy new fencing around the beautiful new pond with its rubber-mulch pond dipping area. Around the pond are habitats to attract wildlife.

The Parents Teachers and Friends Association have been fund raising to help the school renovate the pond area and PTFA member Kate O’Farrell said: ‘The pond was a valuable resource but had become redundant because it leaked, was overgrown and its decking was unsafe.

‘It was the children who were keen to start pond dipping that got us all going to replace the pond lining and to re-build the decking.

school pond Shaftesbury
Will Willoughby from Wessex Water by the new school pond with pupils Jess and Ben.

‘Now all that is needed to finish our wildlife pond project is to replace the surrounding fencing. With the children we have laid a wildflower turf and made habitat piles to attract creepy crawlies.

‘The pond is filling up with all the rain we have had recently and the children cannot wait to get their nets and jars out.’

Will Willoughby, Wessex Water’s Operations Manager Supply, who  presented the award on Friday 4 October, said: ‘We are delighted to support the children’s’ wildlife pond rehabilitation project, especially as they have worked so hard to get this far.’

The Watermark Award provides funds for environmental projects within the Wessex Water area. Now in its 25th year, it has supported nearly one thousand environmental initiatives.

To celebrate this milestone Wessex Water has launched a new Watermark Award. Now communities can apply for a special Anniversary Watermark to help with installing water bottle refill points that will reduce single use plastic drinking bottles.

The Wessex Watermark Awards are organised by The Conservation Foundation who judge all the projects.

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