An update to show a new way for us to engage with wildlife on-site at Compton Verney – a bird hide. Not the traditional one I hasten to add, but a pop-up camouflage hide!
Our purchase was supported and made possible by NFU, who also funded a trolley cart (the activity areas are some distance from the main buildings.) Both of the items will help to make our outdoor programming more efficient, allowing new nature based activities to be planned which spread further out to the grounds and landscape. The plan is to make these available for Forest School activity and special events.
Wildlife and our heritage landscape are huge assets to Compton Verney, and we’re set on a path to make the most of these by encouraging engagement in these disciplines using as many tools and techniques as possible. A Forest Schools initiative has been established and is already proving popular through a number of sessions, and I for one look forward to seeing this venture grow – it is great to see young children enjoying the trees and nature in what equates to an outdoor classroom.
This ‘Forest Schools’ project was given a huge boost via funding from the Marches Network, an Arts Council England initiative which helped us to establish a programme led by the very capable Vix Curtlin, a Level 3 qualified Forest school leader and Outdoor First aider. Just picture a specially selected woodland clearing, made safe for younger visitors, where subjects linked to the science and geography curriculum are enjoyed. Subjects include Super shelters, Terrific trees and Brilliant bugs – they really do love it!
In addition to this, we frequently hold weekend events led by our learning team, which often focus on the outdoor. A Grounds Weekend was hosted earlier in the summer, with wildlife taking centre stage for the first time. A bird viewing screen proved to be a popular stopping off point during this weekend, along with the Forest School area which ran throughout the weekend – a great two days were enjoyed by all.
Many thanks to NFU Mutual and the Marches Network for their help, and to Vix Curtlin and the learning team for their unstinting help and support. I’m sure this is just the start – please stay on board!
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