Pre-schoolers hunt for bugs

Leading housing provider Stonewater and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust recently teamed up to host a bug hunt for the children at Rainbows Pre-school.

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Stonewater has brought 116 much needed affordable homes to Hampshire, as part of a scheme known as Fairoak. The homes, which were constructed by Bloor Homes and Linden Homes, are part of a development that has seen more than 300 new homes in total being built in the area.

Given that the Fairoak homes are in an idyllic location, staff at Stonewater thought it was important to find a way to encourage everyone in the local community rather than just the scheme’s new residents, to enjoy the woodland area that lies between the scheme and pre-school.

So, Stonewater organised a bug hunt to encourage the local pre-school children to learn more about the creatures that live in the neighbouring woodland area. Stonewater has also provided the pre-school with brand-new planting equipment and a bug house. This will be used by allthe children in support of their curriculum work, helping them to develop theirunderstanding of the world around them.

Fairoak includes a mix of shared ownership and affordable rent homes, ranging from one to two-bedroom flats and two to four-bedroom houses. The scheme has also received support from both Eastleigh Borough Council and Fairoak Parish Council.

Chris Montague, Assistant Director of Development (East) at Stonewater, said: “We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to have a place that they can call home, but when you’re delivering a large number of homes, like Stonewater is, it’s important to consider how those brand-new homes will impact the wider community. That’s why we’re pleased that we’ve been able to support Rainbows Pre-School and ensure the children are also getting the most out of their local surroundings.”

Jacqui Huskins, Manager at Rainbows Pre-School, said: “The children and staff really enjoyed the bug hunt organised by Stonewater. We are also looking forward to the spring when we hope to attract some insects to our new ‘bug hotel’ and on the new plants that we planted to encourage wildlife to our outside area, all of which was sponsored by Stonewater.

“We are very grateful to them for their support in providing us with the funding to vastly improve our outside area. The children now really enjoy and benefit from having an outside area that helps extend their learning & development.”