Dunston Staiths inspires hedgehog homes

Riverside Academy’s Class 3  would like to attract more wildlife to their school grounds, creating  new habitats for the animals that live and shelter in Dunston’s urban green spaces.

Pupils began by visiting the Staiths and Saltmarsh Gardens to investigate the wildlife living around the site. We learned that some animals build dens, some dig holes and tunnels, others construct nests or create ‘scrapes’. We looked again at the hibernaculum (created by Gateshead environment team) for insects, mammals and amphibians.

Back in the classroom, pupils drew from a scale model of the Staiths, looking at construction, shape and form. We used the drawings as a starting point to  make sculptural dens for hedgehogs. In turn, these will inform actual design and construction of hedgehog shelters for the school grounds.

Every pupil worked hard to create their own sculpture, producing weird and wonderful structures inspired by the Staiths. Well done Class 3! Looking forward to seeing versions of these being used by hedgehogs next year.

Thank you to Miss Welsh, Miss Smith and Mrs Goodfellow at Riverside Primary Academy, for collaborating with us so enthusiastically on the project. A big thank you to all of Class 3 – we’ve learned a lot and hope you have too! Thanks also to partners Clare Ross, Gateshead project officer, and artist Michele Allen for supporting the project.