Our Stepping Stones School Pond.

After the success of our Stepping Stones Forest the pupils were enthralled by nature and biodiversity all around them. We help from Rob Gandola of the Irish Herpetological Society 6th class pupil (year 2023) planned and researched how to build a pond. 

Firstly, the children used the classroom resource ‘Gardening for Biodiversity’ to research what they would need to build a pond. The booklet was the brainchild of Juanita Browne and was produced by Laois County Council with the assistance of Local Authority Heritage Officers across Ireland, with support from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Heritage Council. 

Next, the children sketched ideas of what they would like their pond to look like and what they would like it to contain. Rob helped us to choose a sight for the pond. We chose a quiet area of grass near the new Stepping Stones Forest. We believe that this location near the forest will encourage more biodiversity in our pond and in the forest. 

Then the children built their pond in Minecraft for Education.  

Finally, the children dug the pond hole and placed the base of the pond in place. They used a water butt to allow rainwater to flow from the butt to the pond. Rob sourced pond plants for our pond such as hornwort to help aerate the pond water.  

So far the children have spotted caterpillars, dead leaves, mosquito larvae and spiders in the pond. We look forward to seeing what the pond will entice next Spring time.