Green Lane Primary

All 60 children holding up their duck house designs

You may remember in the January update about an introductory project for the children at Green Lane Primary School. Our Bailiff Steve had an idea to help more ducklings escape predation from foxes and herons.

Floating Duck Houses

Everyone thought it was a great idea and I thought it might be nice to bring the children into it, so I asked them to design some brightly coloured duck houses for us. The children donated £1 per entry, The School’s PTA chipped in with a generous donation and ‘Onslow Motors’ of Green Lane donated a very generous £100 toward the project. This pot of money covered all the materials for the construction of the houses and hopefully there will be some left over for future school projects.

Sixty children entered and presented us with quite a difficult job in judging the four winners. Steve and I sat with Mandy Stewart and Maha Shaikh, who work with the children and eventually we chose the winning entries.


The children’s designs and the finished houses below
“Duckingham Palace”
“Come In Ducks”
“Home Sweet Home”

Steve, Gary and our winners (from left to right): Abby, Scarlett, Raphael and Katarina

Steve cut out all the panels for the walls and varnished them and I recreated the children’s designs as faithfully as I could.

On the 13th of April, Steve, Dave Kirby, Stuart Clout and myself from the fishery team, spent the majority of the day putting the finishing touches to the houses and placing them in their positions on ponds 2 and 3. The weather on the day was nothing short of appalling, in fact, I would have described it as

“Only fit for ducks”

On Tuesday the 16th of April our four winners came down to the fishery to view their completed works. It is hoped these bright new additions to the ponds will provide scope for future environmental projects for the school.

The weather is at last warming up and the water levels are receding. Steve has got itchy fingers and is talking about organizing work parties again. One of the first jobs will be to finish the ramp off properly by the addition of non-slip strips and beading to make the downward passage of wheelchairs easier and safer. Also, the strong wind has caused the tethering on the Duck Houses to move a little. A little more weight on each rope will do the trick.

The fisheries club rowing out to position the duck houses

The fisheries club rowing out to position the duck houses

Work Parties

A lot of people have voiced alarm over the massacre of the trees and shrubs to the rear of the fishery, bordering Pig Farm Alley. Although it looked pretty ruthless, please rest assured that it is all part of proper land management for the area. By harshly coppicing the growth it will grow much stronger and thicker for the future, making it a much better nesting and feeding area for the birds that rely on it. I am sure Bob will elaborate on the different bird species that frequent that area on his ‘Above the Water’ page.


Head Bailiff Steve and Fishery Manager Gary

Since the creation of the earthy slopes and gravel path at the foot of the orchard area, we have become aware of a third Life Preserver/Ring situated in the middle of a marshy area surrounded by reeds. This is serving no purpose so we are going to move it. The ponds to the right are already served by the rings on the main part of the boardwalk and the jetty over the far pond. So we have decided to place this third ring down the far end of the main lake on the left where it will help to render all areas of the pond cluster ‘never too far away’ from Life Saving Equipment.

We will be in a position to tell you more about an opening date in the next update.