The Cornfield Project

This year a group of Year 12 pupils became involved in the Cornfield Project, the brand new 'Grow Wild' flagship site in Coleraine.

The Cornfield is an area previously planted with trees by local schools under the Millennium Project that lies between Ballysally and Millburn.  The vision is for a green space to be used by all in the local community which will include; raised beds and a poly-tunnel for growing fruit and vegetables, an outdoor classroom as well as hang-out areas for young people that will include a fire pit and Wi-Fi.  There will be areas designated for wild flowers, a wetland area and habitats created to encourage wildlife.

The people of Coleraine have campaigned hard to secure funding for this project and work will start very soon on bringing this vision to life.  In preparation for this the Occupational Studies Horticulture class were invited to help with crown lifting.

Ten pupils travelled across to the site courtesy of Leanne Abernethy of the Active Communities Network, who also serves on our Board of Governors.  We were met by Kenny Henry, Conservation Action Team Supervisor for the Conservation Volunteers who gave the pupils an excellent introduction to the site before training them in the safe use of loppers and pruning saws.

The task was to remove the lower branches from young trees in order to open up the area.  The benefits of this would be to encourage the growth of woodland plants, enable the tree to put on growth and, of course, to allow people access to the woodland.

The pupils listened well to the instructions and worked hard, understanding the task so well that they started to make their own suggestions for how to go about the job.  They were praised by Kenny for the accuracy of their work, which, if done incorrectly could lead to the death of the tree, and he was very pleased that we completed all the work he needed done ahead of schedule.

The boys enjoyed their day out, but more importantly gained knowledge that will feed into their horticulture course and the photographs taken of the day will add to their portfolio of evidence.