CVS Tern Raft Build - Nears Completion

Chew Valley School, in collaboration with Bristol Water, has embarked on a project to encourage Common, Roseate and Arctic Terns to nest on Chew Valley Lake.  The project began in the planning stages twelve months ago.  A design was created and a plan for making the raft was forged between students and staff at the school.  Ten students and three staff have managed the project and resources have been kindly donated by Bristol Water.  For many of the students involved, this has been their first experience of a large design and construction project.  Using many of the skills learned in Design and Technology, the raft has slowly taken shape. Matthew Jones, in Year 9, said “I have enjoyed building the raft because I enjoy the construction side of the process”.

Dave Kenny, SENCo at Chew Valley School, commented “We have been particularly pleased to see how the students have worked together to ensure the project has been a success.  They have learned how important it is to care for our environment and to provide habitats for nesting birds”.  Among many of the problems facing the raft builders, perhaps the most tricky, was negotiating the British weather!

Dave Hill, Learning Support, offered “As the project continued and the sections grew in size, we were hamstrung when sessions were affected by poor weather.  But the students were determined and committed and overcame these problems, with the help of hot chocolate and digestive biscuits!”.

As research continued for the project, it became clear to the ‘rafters’ that environmental issues were key.  Terns tend to be vulnerable to predators and other nesting species, competing for territories.  So it became important to encourage the Terns in to local habitats and Chew Valley was thought by Bristol Water to be an ideal location to try.  To this end, Ben Adams, in Year 9, gave his perspective, “I have always loved the environment and one of my pastimes is birdwatching.  When I heard we were building this tern raft, I was immediately interested to get involved with this project”.

Although initially an experiment by Bristol Water, it is hoped that if successful the project may grow and became a regular feature on Bristol’s waterways.