Thursday, 27 September 2018

Curiosity project

Earlier this year, WESC Foundation were awarded a grant from the BBC Children in Need and Wellcome Trust programme - Curiosity.

The aim of the curiosity project was to engage children and young people in science based activities. WESC students were encouraged to be curious about the natural environment and learn in a more hands- on way in the horticultural area.

The students gained confidence in their ability to safely interact with the physical environment of plants and soil. They developed skills in working together and supporting each other whilst taking part in practical activities. 


They enjoyed locating the wildlife camera, checking out different soil samples for PH levels, siting the new hedgehog house and being brave enough to experience handling insects! 

Alongside this, once the willow arch was planted, students were taught how to monitor the growth using tactile sensation to feel how many new leaves and branches grew every week.

All of the students really enjoyed learning outside of the classroom environment and making science a more active experience.


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Opening of the new greenhouse

It was a very special time in the WESC garden today when the official opening of the new greenhouse took place.  Peter Bond an ex student, keen gardener and advocate of producing home grown food kindly donated the greenhouse in memory of Otie his much loved assistance dog.  

He brought along a very popular guest in the form of Goldie his new assistance dog who at 13 1/2 weeks old really stole the show!

The greenhouse will be well used by students and staff alike so a big thank you from all of us at WESC.
Thanks Peter!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Pergola's and pathways

WESC was really pleased to welcome a group of volunteers taking part in the NCS, National Citizen Service, which offers voluntary personal and social development for 15-17 year olds.

The weather didn't disappoint and there was plenty for the group to get their teeth into.

The plan was to create a peaceful space for a seated pergola which students and staff could enjoy. 
This has been kindly donated in memory of Darin by his family so is very special.  

They started by marking out the edges of the designated area and then clearing the ground ready to level it.

The group lifted the turf and raked the area 

They measured the area to lay the landscape fabric which will help to reduce the amount of weeding in this seating area

they then mulched the area with bark chippings

and finished it off by placing the pergola itself. Around this will be planted cotinus, viburnum, gunnera and bamboo.

The group carried out other jobs such as painting the arch 

and the posts into the wildlife garden - they had even fundraised for the paint they used!

A brilliant job, well done!

Their next job was to prepare a pebble pathway to the cold frame.  They started by marking out the path 

and then continued by lifting the turf

raking the area to level the ground

and putting the landscape fabric down and adding the pebbles.

The final job was to level off the pebbles.  

This NCS group fundraised with bucket collections for the paint for the posts and pergola along with asking at garden centre's for any plant donations.  Thank you goes to one young person who did really well with a donation from Wyevale Garden Centre at Sidmouth. 

A fabulous team - well done!

Flaming July

With the sun continuing to shine and the willingness of enthusiastic volunteers, the WESC garden continues to thrive.

We were very pleased to have a team from Exeter University offer to help tidy up and clear some of the wildlife garden.

They weeded under the trees, turned the soil and then mulched the very poor soil with tons of compost

They then helped level the ground and define the borders using branches from the silver birch which we felled

The team then planted out the borders with persicaria bistorta and alchemilla mollis - both donated by Sarah at West Hill Nurseries.  They  planted hydrangea paniculata donated by Stephanie. and also planted buddleja davidii and digitalis purpurea from seedlings which have been grown on at WESC.

Whilst work in the wildlife area was underway another group helped to rectify the damage the rabbits had done to the lavender path.  The decision was made to put chicken wire down and plant the lavender through this in order to prevent the plants from being dug up.


The team did a great job with this fiddly task and the lavender beds that line the path are really filling out now - thank you

Another job on the list was to site the wildlife pond

 and install a solar pump which the NCS fundraised for.  

The log bench area is a great place to sit and now with the pond attracting wildlife it just got even better.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Prince's Trust volunteers make a difference

The changes to the WESC garden have been amazing throughout this summer and thanks goes to a group of Prince's Trust volunteers who chose WESC for their community project and really got stuck in.

They took on the challenge of making a tree circle for picnicing and started by measuring the diameter around the three trees and marking out the circle.  They took up the grass just around the edge, mowed the remaining grass and weeded around the base of the trees.

The group then covered the remaining grass with cardboard which will gradually decompose, and covered the circle with bark chippings.  They then tackled the job of making up the picnic benches and treating them with a wood preserve.

The final result looks amazing- a great place to  enjoy a picnic!  Thank you

They then took on the task of painting the established vegetable boxes ready for planting.

During this time the group had also organised a fundraising event raising a substantial amount of money to go towards plants for the garden.  Again, a huge thank you from us.

It doesn't stop there though as they went away and designed and produced postcards based on their time spent at WESC which will now be sold in the WESC charity shops with all monies going back into the garden.


Thursday, 19 July 2018

Busy June

With us all enjoying such a beautiful summer, jobs in the WESC garden haven't been a hardship at all as eveyone's been enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Steve, Maggie's partner kindly gave up his free time to take down the silver birch whose position was stopping light getting into the greenhouse.  He also spent time making sure the logs were put to really good use - thank you Steve, you did a brilliant job

Our fantastic Therapy team enjoyed their team meeting outside for a change

As June moved on a group of young people on the Positive Pathways course at Exeter College spent time at WESC and really helped make strides in the Wildlife Garden

Erecting a pergola to make the entrance into the Wildlife Garden

The group also helped to paint the sheds and prepare the new pathway into the Wildlife Garden using weed suppressant material and bark chippings - thank you all, you really made a difference.

The work didn't stop there - a large group of employees from Exe Insurance volunteered their time and really got stuck into some serious groundwork

They carried on the good work the Positive Pathways group had started by clearing out the borders in the Wildlife Garden getting rid of roots and stones and double digging the ground over ready for planting and edging

They really worked hard digging 2 holes large enough to sink a large plastic container into so they could plant both the bamboo and gunnera. The team rose to the challenge knowing it would be well worthwhile to keep the bamboo from invading the garden and to keep the gunnera roots damp.

The group also placed rainbow boulders, which came all the way from Derbyshire, around the borders inside the centre circle of the Wildlife Garden giving light to the area and showing off the planting.

Another team from the Exe Insurance group really got stuck in clearing the area for access to the cold frame

and the finished article - great job!

More exciting changes have happened in July so keep watching this space!