Project will breathe new life into nature reserve at Campion School in Leamington

Alistair Clark from AC Lloyd (second right) with volunteers from Age UK Warwickshire and Campion School ready to start the excavation work.
Alistair Clark from AC Lloyd (second right) with volunteers from Age UK Warwickshire and Campion School ready to start the excavation work.

A Leamington school is undergoing a major project over the summer to reinvigorate its nature reserve with the support of organisations in and around the town.

Campion School, on Sydenham Drive, is in the process of transforming its nature reserve and extending its use to all students along with primary school children in the area.

The project includes the excavation of a pond area and is being supported by local building developer AC Lloyd Homes, volunteers from Age UK Warwickshire, the Tree Council, and other businesses including Hinton’s Nursery and Garden Centre of Warwick.

Age UK Warwickshire has secured funding to help Campion School to complete the project, while AC Lloyd has contributed men and machinery who, together with the school volunteers, are carrying out the work.

The nature reserve was first opened at the Millennium with help from the Tree Council but in recent years, the school has struggled to find the resources to maintain the area.

But following the completion of the project, older people with dementia will also be able to visit the site with their carers.

Jassa Panesar, Head teacher at Campion School, said: “We’re really excited about reinstating the nature reserve and creating an area which our students and primary schools can take advantage of and contribute to learning right across the curriculum. “Without the support of Age UK Warwickshire, the Tree Council and local businesses like AC Lloyd we wouldn’t be able to make this happen, so our thanks go to everyone who is contributing so much to the project.”

Alistair Clark, director at AC Lloyd who are based at Tachbrook Park in Leamington, added: “AC Lloyd has a very close relationship with Campion School and helped create the original nature reserve.

“We’re pleased to making a big contribution to this project. A lot of work is going into reinvigorating and extending the nature reserve and once complete I’m sure this area will be a really good resource all the school can enjoy for many years.”

The nature reserve was first opened with help from the Tree Council and its vice president the late Norman Painting OBE, the actor and broadcaster most famous for his role as Phil Archer in The Archers.

Elizabeth Phillips MBE, former CEO of Age UK Warwickshire, is the lead volunteer on the project for the charity.

She said: “I worked with the Tree Council, Norman Painting and the school to help create the project some years ago and I’m delighted Age UK Warwickshire is helping Campion to breathe new life into this area.

“This will be a fantastic resource for students to use, and people with dementia and their carers visiting Campion will be able to enjoy the area too.

“Norman would be really pleased to see the hard work going on at the school. He had a huge love of trees, and was extremely fond of this place. His ashes are even scattered below one of the trees here.”