PUPILS at The Mead Academy Trust have been buzzing with excitement this week after they were named as four schools to take part in a project to protect the dwindling population of Britain's pollinating insects.

The UK-wide Polli:Nation programme will see pupils from The Mead, Castle Mead, River Mead and The Mead at Wingfield transform their outdoor spaces to become pollinator-friendly habitats.

They'll do so by growing more flowers, shrubs and trees as well as thinking more carefully about whether to use pesticides.

Lyssy Bolton, executive headteacher at The Mead Academy Trust said "We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this project and honoured to be making a contribution to such important research.

"Not only does Polli:Nation offer the children a fantastic opportunity to develop their own environment to aid the declining population of pollinators, it also offers the perfect platform to consider our environment and pesticides on a global scale- whilst also involving members of the local community."

With the support of the national school grounds charity, Learning Through Landscapes, pupils will take part in the project for the next three years which will feed data to OPAL Imperial College London.

Having submitted a joint application as a school cluster back in October 2015, the schools were named as three out of 260 across the UK, that have been chosen to participate in the unique programme.

The schools' joint application demonstrated their plans of action, the strength of their commitment to the project and the quality of collaboration, both with each other and the wider community.

David Hodd, the Project Manager of Learning through Landscapes added: "It is critical that we address the declining numbers of pollinating insects in Britain, and the support of schools and communities in West Wiltshire will certainly contribute to the overall success of the Polli:Nation programme. We look forward to seeing the final results of the school's projects."

The Polli:Nation project has been developed by Learning through Landscapes in association with sector partners The Field Studies Council, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, OPAL Imperial College London, Stirling University, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and The Conservation Volunteers.