Paragon Veterinary Group in Dalston are helping educate local children about their environment and the wildlife in it.
Twenty-four reception class pupils from St Michael’s Primary School planted water plants at the pond in the vets’ staff wellbeing garden this week.
Last year children from the school helped create the garden and this was the latest step to see how the garden had successfully developed.
Reception teacher Janet McArdle said the four and five-year-olds had been visited by a vet earlier in the week and loved their trip to the pond.
She said: “They were really excited about walking to the vets. I think the fact that the vet had been in the day before meant there was that really strong link about where they were going.
“When the vet came into school we had lots of activities with the children who got to bandage up a dog, not a real dog, and dressed up as vets.
“We had lots of parent volunteers and as we walked up the vets they got to explore the environment and then some of the children planted into the newly created pond.
“We talked about what creatures we might find in the garden as a whole. Vet Laura Binnie had some examples she showed them a bat, a hedgehog, a blue tit.
“It links in really well with what we’ve been learning about in school.”
Mrs McArdle said they were always encouraging the children to learn about their surroundings and hope to be able to revisit the pond in the future.
“”The children and I go for walks once a week around the village so it links in really well with that, to know the community and where the school is.
“I live in Dalston and I work in Dalston and these sorts of links are really important, really beneficial to the children.”
Veterinary surgeon Laura Binnie said: “I think it’s important to engage with the local school children to teach them about looking after our environment and how to encourage wildlife into our gardens
“If they learn this from a young age it’s more likely they will grow up more aware about how they can look after the natural world around them.
“Our planet is facing a biodiversity crisis and it’s their generation that will see the impacts of this, sadly, so the more ambassadors for biodiversity we can encourage the better.
“It’s about planting the seed, literally and figuratively.”