Rochester Independent College (RIC) has become only of the only independent schools in the UK to achieve official accreditation of its commitment to the preservation of the environment.
Top 5 things to look out for in the garden this month
with Simon the gardener
- Berries, seed heads and skeletal trees – sculptural in their stark winter beauty.
- Huge ripe, yellow quince fruits hanging from leafless branches in Dickens garden with their fuzzy winter coats. Perfect for Christmas chutneys and cheeses
- Old fashioned medlars full of curious fruit in the Dickens seating area. Medlars have been cultivated since Roman times, and are unusual in that they ripen in winter.
- Our sparkly RIC Christmas tree all lit up and festive on Star Hill
- The building of the new ‘fox-proof’ chicken coop and chicken house next to the Maths Shed. Simon says: ‘We’re building a new, safe and fox-proof chicken coop for RIC with a 6ft wire fence around and net over the top. We will start with 4 very fluffy chickens perfect for students to cuddle. It is proved that cuddling chickens is calming and excellent for health and well-being. Hopefully they will lay eggs too – not so much in the winter but when the light gets better we could get 4 a day! Sally is going to look after them and especially make sure they go on holiday too when there is no-one at college.”
The RIC garden was a hive of activity on Wednesday this week when the RIC Community learning group made some tasty treats for the birds to enjoy. These are now hanging proudly on the many trees.
As part of the Community Learning, the Eco Warriors group research and planned how to make bird feeders with grapefruit, lard, seeds and string. Different birds are attracted to certain foods, often reflecting their special adaptations for natural food types. For example, sparrows, wood pigeon, collared dove like large grains; woodpeckers, tits, starling like fat balls and peanuts and robin, thrushes prefer mealworms and live foods. The students then attached the bird feeders around the garden.