Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Ashton Hayes Primary School PTFA are submitting our project to renovate the pond area at school so that it can be used as a valuable learning resource by the children and promote wildlife. Ashton Hayes Primary is a small, rural school in Cheshire and the PTFA are a dedicated group of parents, teachers and friends of the school who work on a voluntary basis to raise funds for the school to spend on resources that they would not otherwise be able to afford. The pond renovation project will cost more than the PTFA can manage through fundraising efforts alone. An award from Aviva would ensure the completion of this project.
The school benefits from good outdoor space but there is no money available to maintain this space or make improvements. The school is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to make use of the outdoors to enhance the children’s learning experience. Outdoor learning is becoming a core part of the school’s teaching ethos and from January, teachers will be running forest school in an area of woodland within the school grounds. This means that hands-on learning in the natural environment will be a regular and on-going part the children’s education.
In one corner of the woodland is a pond area that was first established almost 30 years ago but has now fallen into disrepair. It is fenced off and out of bounds to the children. Despite being very over-grown and badly shaded out by trees, the pond itself is healthy and supports a wide range of wildlife. Our intention is to renovate the pond area and make it safe and accessible for the children. We want to install a proper pathway round the pond and construct a dipping platform next to the pond. We would also improve the fencing and gate around the pond area and purchase equipment for pond dipping. We would like to make both the path and the platform as robust and long-lasting as possible to ensure the future use of the area for years to come. By putting in good infrastructure now we will be ensuring the sustainability of the pond area. Much of the ongoing maintenance will be carried out by the pupils as they learn about caring for and managing the natural environment. The wider school community will also be involved as the school and PTFA organise regular ‘pond’ days which are a popular way for adults and children to get together and help care for the school grounds.
The pond renovation project was originally suggested by the children themselves when they were asked how they would like to improve the school. The PTFA has already provided funds to install a wildlife camera and a kestrel nesting box with a camera in the pond area which have been used to show the children the diversity of wildlife using the area. The cameras have captured images of foxes, badgers and even buzzards and this has heighted the children’s interest. They are very eager to get in to the pond area and explore its possibilities at close hand.
With a local expert from the community, we have prepared detailed plans. We have quotations to build the path and dipping platform and some preparation work has been done by volunteers, clearing the undergrowth. So we are poised to deliver the project but we need the money to make it happen. With an award of £5000 from Aviva we would be able to put our plans into action straight away. The infrastructure could be put in over the winter months (with minimal disruption to the wildlife) and the children would be able to make full use of the area in time for spring when the action really gets going in the pond!
Ashton Hayes Primary school is at the very heart of the community of Ashton Hayes and the surrounding villages. We expect this project will benefit the wider community, through visits which we plan to offer to local residents once the work is complete. We know that the regeneration of the pond will delight current pupils at the school and will be a legacy for future generations of children.

Project Video

Ashton Hayes Primary School PTFA

“Aspire to be amazing” is the Ashton Hayes school motto and the PTFA live up to that. Our events raise money, bring the school community together and are always great fun. Once completed the pond project will be a lasting asset for the school and that is something we can be truly proud of.

Location: Ashton Hayes, United Kingdom