Whitefriars Church of England Primary Academy

Mars Food Volunteer Team Make a Difference

On Friday 15th May 2015 a team of willing volunteers from Mars Food UK in Hansa Road put their wellies on to improve the wildlife conservation area in the school grounds of Whitefriars Primary Academy, King’s Lynn.


They were undaunted by the jungle of nettles and brambles that awaited them. This enthusiastic group made sure that the whole area was cleared of these waist-high weeds, revealing the large circle of tree stumps and the old pond. The overgrown pond will be allowed to become a bog and a brand new pond was dug.


A new gate made a welcoming entranceway for the children and a den building area was awaiting them inside. In addition, by cutting back the overgrown areas on the edges of the area, the volunteers created a woodland glade and a secret woodland walk.


This space will be used by the whole school to learn about and enjoy nature, both in lesson times and during breaks. Headteacher Mr Mathew Tuckwood said, “We are so grateful to the MARS team for transforming our conservation area. The children have not been able to use this area of our school for a while now as it had become overgrown and damaged so they are very excited about being able to explore the updated area. They are going to love pond dipping in the new pond, building dens and exploring the hidden walks. The team worked with enthusiasm and real purpose all day and as a result the children have a brilliant new area which will support their learning.”


The volunteers are part of a number of teams from the King’s Lynn factory who are giving their time to the Mars Food School Grounds Development Programme. Each school selected receives the assistance of visual artist and school grounds specialist Nicola Marray-Woods, who plans and organises the activities for the Mars teams. She said, “Schools involved in the programme are very appreciative of the efforts of the volunteers who are making such a big difference in a day as well as to Mars for donating materials.”


The teams also get a great deal of satisfaction from the day. Team leader Dee Simon said, ‘As part of the School Grounds Development Programme, Mars Food UK has helped a number of schools with gardening projects over the last few years. This project was particularly rewarding for the team however, as we were revitalising an area of the school that the children were completely unable to use in its current state. The day also had a real community feel, as the wildlife area is over looked by houses and a number of the residents stopped by to chat and have a look at the transformation.’