Following a really successful and fun environmental day in the spring with St Michael’s, the current Year 7’s were asked if they wanted to help with some preparation for winter in Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park.
The Friends of Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park, all volunteers, work with Stockton Borough Council to ensure this fabulous environment continues to develop as it has done over the last 20 years. The park is walking distance, or a short drive from Billingham, Wolviston, Wynyard and Port Clarence, a real hidden gem right here in our backyard, just off the Seal Sands road.
Chair of the Friends Group Kevin Pitt, welcomed the 170 students to the park, gave a safety briefing and of course shared the outline of the day. Kevin said ‘When St Michael’s helped
us back in the spring, well over 90% of the students admitted they didn’t know the park was here, which in turn probably meant that their parents didn’t know we were here either. It made sense to keep the links with the school, which is only a 10 minute walk away from the park and involve the next generation in this fabulous environmental legacy.’
Margaret Hayden, also of the Friends Group said ‘I liaised with Pat Chambers and together we asked others to share in making the visit a real experience for the young people. We had Stockton Borough Council help as the students cleared bag loads of litter from the park and paint a bridge already for the winter. Tees Wildlife Trust helped by some bird box building and placing the boxes around the park. Sc_out_ed helped by organising some woodland survival skills, I organised some woodland arts and crafts and of course we found time to let loose on the play area too – which was well deserved as the children had worked so hard.’
Tim Rochester Head of Year 7 at St Michael’s said ‘When we came to the park in the spring with the current Year 8 students, we knew immediately we wanted to come back and do it all over again. It certainly helped that the weather was with us again but this whole project helps with team building skills, communication, map reading, understanding the environment and the wildlife in the park, the damage that can be done through discarding litter, instead of putting it in the bin. Everyone learns new skills, including our staff and it’s simply great to have such a wonderful park so close to school. I really appreciate all the time given by the volunteers and organisations who have worked together to make this such a good visitor experience for our students, I know many have already said they want to come back with their families which is fantastic.’
If you would like to be involved with the Friends of Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park, you’ll can contact them via their facebook page, or call 01642 371633 to discover more about the park.
Access off the A1185 Seal Sands Link Road, Billingham.
There are also pedestrian entrances off Wolviston Back Lane just to the east of Low Grange, Billingham, while National Cycle Route 14 provides a direct link to Billingham town centre.
Parking is available on the site, open daily: The park is open every day: Summer: 8.30am to 9pm and Winter: 8.30am to 5.30pm