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West Bridgford schoolgirl wins council animal house competition

04 May 2022

Ms Nelson, Alice and Cllr Adams Bella's winning design Ms Nelson, the eco-team and Cllr Adams

A West Bridgford schoolgirl has won a nature competition organised by the council and Notts Outdoors to design an animal house for local wildlife.

A Home for Wildlife was open to all Nottinghamshire primary schools to enter during most of March.

West Bridgford Junior School pupil Bella Emmerson, age nine, created the winning design with support from the school’s ‘eco team’ – thirteen classmates who meet regularly to work on environmentally-friendly projects.

Bella’s animal house design features a hedgehog house, bug hotel, birdhouse and pond and is made of wood and rocks.

Bella said: “It came as a shock when I realised that I had won, but now I’m really proud.

“I love being part of the eco-team, and I’m happy all my friends helped me with ideas to create the winning design.

“We all discussed how the animal home would look in our class, and then I went home and created the design over a few days. I had to concentrate hard to get it just right.”

As a prize for winning, Bella’s design will now be fully built by students from West Nottinghamshire College to take pride of place at West Bridgford Junior School.  

Bella, along with her classmates and eco team, will also enjoy a free day trip to one of Notts Outdoors’ sites - transport will be courtesy of one of the county council’s electric buses.

Alice Nelson is a teacher at West Bridgford Junior School and runs the eco-team.

She said: “I’m so proud of Bella and my wonderful eco-team for winning A Home for Wildlife. 

“Before we entered the competition, the eco-team purchased new paper recycling bins made from recyclable materials. Now we want to work to attract more wildlife to our outdoor areas - our A Home for Wildlife success will be a great encouragement for the children.

“I’m looking forward to us claiming our prize and the children enjoying a day out with Notts Outdoors – it will be a great educational experience for the eco-team.

“I’m hoping that when Bella’s design is fully built, we will be able to place at our site on Tudor Road, in the garden area."

Bella and the eco-team were informed of their A Home for Wildlife win by Councillor Mike Adams, the council’s Environment Ambassador, at a special assembly at the school.

Councillor Adams said: “We had some fantastic entries for A Home for Wildlife, so I’m delighted for Bella and West Bridgford Junior School – their animal house design is well crafted.

“It was a pleasure to be invited to West Bridgford Junior School and announce that Bella and the eco-team had beaten off the competition and been chosen as the winners – it was a lovely surprise for the children.

“I was proud to be involved in A Home for Wildlife. My colleagues at Notts Outdoors and I wanted the competition to have a legacy of getting our primary schools and pupils more interested in nature and our local wildlife. I hope we’ve achieved our aim.”

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