PUPILS at a Selby primary school took a walk on the wild side.

Almost 130 children at Barlby Bridge Primary School on Thomas Street were treated to two days of interactive wildlife, environment and safety workshops from Kier Group environment manager, Craig O’Brien, and placement student Megan Villic as they worked with Network Rail to refurbish the Selby swing bridge.

The aim of the workshops was to enhance the pupils’ awareness about the dangers of playing near building sites and railways, and to inspire them to take an interest in their local wildlife and environment and show them how they can look after it.

Around 50 bird feeders made by the pupils have now been hung in the school’s nature area to attract wildlife and help preserve the natural environment, and Kier also provided the children with a bird box, bird feeder, fat balls and books to help their environmental education.

In addition, the Kier team working on the Selby swing bridge refurbishment have agreed to sponsor an owl box on behalf of the school through the Hawk and Owl Trust. The box will be located in northern England and the pupils will receive regular updates.

Craig O’Brien, Kier environment manager, said: “As businesses, both Kier and Network Rail take our corporate responsibility very seriously, and we always aim to contribute in a positive way to the communities in which we work. It was a pleasure to visit Barlby Bridge Community School - the children soaked up the information and it was fantastic to see everyone getting involved with the activities.”

Darryl White, Network Rail project manager for Selby, added: “It was great to see the Kier environment team deliver several hands-on interactive wildlife and environment awareness sessions at Barlby Bridge. It has provided a fantastic opportunity to promote the environment in the local community, and it further demonstrates the commitment Network Rail and Kier have to supporting and engaging with the communities in which we work.”

The work to Selby swing bridge is on schedule, and will finish in time for normal rail services to resume on Monday, September 8.