A HAMPSHIRE primary school celebrated the opening of its newly refurbished pond. 

The Mayor of Winchester Russell Gordon-Smith cut the ribbon to open the pond at Harestock Primary School.

Parents, pupils and staff enjoyed the hot weather and listening to the school choir on Tuesday, June 25. 

Headteacher Aimée Dear said: “Today we celebrate not only the opening of the pond, but our commitment to educating our children, including learning how to care for our world and our environment. 

Harestock Primary School choir (Image: Newsquest)

“The idea of the pond came as a vision to bring back to life the school's old pond, creating a space that serves as both a natural habitat and an area where children can go to learn and to support their wellbeing. 

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“The pond is a testament to the hard work and dedication of many individuals. I'd like to express my deepest gratitude to Lynette Healey and her team who have been actively involved with the planning and creation of this pond. 

“We're also grateful to the parents and local businesses whose generous contributions have made this project possible. I would especially like to thank Andy Lamb for giving an extremely generous donation. In total, we have raised £11,626.”

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith cutting the ribbon (Image: Newsquest)

Before cutting the ribbon, Cllr Gordon-Smith said: "I'm really pleased to be asked to open this pond. The natural environment is under a lot of pressure. In the last 20 years, the level of insects has been estimated to have declined by 60 per cent which is very serious. 

"Creating ponds like this help insects, so it's a vital part of the eco-cape. Through these small steps, the environment becomes enriched."

Lynette Healey, a parent who helped to design the pond, said: “We had an ex-pupil, who's a landscape contractor, come and the old pond was dug out. It was all brambles before. The work started in October last year. 

“We had to fill it with a hosepipe, but the most important thing was getting the plants in. It feels fantastic now it's open, the pupils have been using it already. I'd like it to be used for quiet time and mindful time.”