Springhouse Country Park
BH&HPA Journal – Issue 143 – Environmental Best Practice
Getting children excited about the environment is important. The great thing is that is doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. For example, Springhouse Country Park in Northumberland has started a Children’s Club. A caravan has been allocated for the use of visiting children and decorated by them with a wildlife theme.
The brains behind this project is the park’s housekeeper Christine. ‘She set it up from nothing’says Springhouse’s Andrew Blackie. ‘It’s not official or commercialised. Instead, the children tend to take the lead and Christine tries to make it as interesting as possible by making up wildlife activities that are far removed from school lessons and as interesting as possible.’
The club runs during the main season and there is a weekly activity, which introduces the children to wildlife and the local countryside. For example, bee-friendly planting which helps them to understand the role these and other insects play and to value them as pollinators.
All the park’s staff are immensely proud of the club and supportive of Christine’s work. The children just love the opportunities for wild play that the club gives them, as well as the informal learning opportunities it offers. One other eco-benefit is that the unit that is used as the clubhouse would otherwise have been scrapped (although it is serviceable). It is also worth noting that the space that it takes up could also have been used for another paying unit.
For 2010, the park is moving forward with the club idea ‘This year we will be focusing on the garden, perhaps putting in a new pond’, says Andrew. ‘It should be a great year for the children and the club.’
Content taken from article as it appeared in BH&HPA Journal, Issue 43, Page 70.
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