Wellesley Haddon Dene School wins Silver Commendation at Wilder Kent Awards.

Learning about nature at Wellesley Haddon Dene

Wellesley Haddon Dene School in Broadstairs has won a Silver Commendation at this year’s Wilder Kent Awards.

The Wilder Kent Awards were set up by Kent Wildlife Trust in 2020 as a way of recognising and rewarding positive actions by groups across Kent to protect wildlife and safeguard nature for future generations.

Now in its third year, 2023 saw the Wilder Kent Awards gain more than 65 entries from groups and organisations across the county.

At Wellesley Haddon Dene, the school dedicates curriculum time to develop students understanding of climate change and nature conservation.

Some of the environmental initiatives they have completed this year include: committing to The Great British Spring Clean, collecting over 40 bin bags on litter in the local community and beaches; growing their own vegetables; running a weekly ‘Wildlife Club’; hosting four beehives and harvesting honey; raising money for new bird boxes for swifts, robins, wrens, blue tits and house martins; creating hedgehog highways in their grounds; renovating their on-site forest school using recycled materials; making bird feeders; creating an area for wildflowers and insects; creating bug hotels; making a butterfly feeder and bat boxes; analysing the on-site nature ‘cam’ to learn about the little things that people can all do to help nature and much more.

Headteacher Joanne Parpworth said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have achieved a Silver Award this year, building on our previously awarded Bronze Commendation. We are fortunate to have Mrs Sabin-Dawson, our Year 5 teacher, who is an advocate for the environment and nature conversation.

“She has empowered, intrigued and motivated our children to create a significant positive impact within our local community. Looking after, and being in, nature is good for our pupils’ mental health as well as educating them about how to create a healthier environment for all of us to live in. Our future is in their hands.’

Tom White, Education Officer at Kent Wildlife Trust said: “It’s great to see so many schools and groups across Kent taking positive action for nature and wildlife. The climate and nature crisis is the single biggest threat this planet faces and these awards help to raise awareness in our communities whilst also helping to safeguard nature and create a more sustainable future.”

The Wilder Kent Awards is a scheme set up to recognise and reward the work schools and community groups are doing in helping to create a #WilderKent. By taking positive actions to restore nature, they are helping to create a more climate-resilient county and provide a home for wildlife.