Posts filed under ‘Environmental Education’

Young People learn new skills

Young people in their natural shelter

Eight young people gained new skills and experience that will help them with their next steps in life, whether this is finding a job, a place on a training course, or coping with life in general. 

The Bushcraft and Personal Development Workshop took place over a nine week period, with the young people spending one day a week in the forest, leading to an overnight stay in natural shelters they had built.  This was followed by time in a recording studio mixing and editing their found sounds into music tracks, and editing film footage. 

Click here for the press release distributed about this programme.

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July 11, 2010 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

Bushcraft and Personal Development

Education 4 Conservation in partnership with Wild Earth, has just successfully completed the first of three Bushcraft and Personal Development workshops, with funding received from CSWP (Coventry, Solihull, and Warwickshire Partnership), and the Warwickshire Youth Opportunity Fund.

Working with a group of young people aged 16 to 19, the six week programme has included learning bushcraft and forest skills which are a great way of connecting with youngsters, personal development, and CV writing and job search skills. 

Setting up a camp is an integral part of the course, and involved making fires, shelter-building, collecting water and gathering wild foods.  Everything is back to basics.  Fire is created by friction, so involved a bit of hard work and knowing the right techniques.  Shelters have to be weather-proof (and in snowy and wet conditions this in itself is a challenge), and food and water have to be safe to eat and drink. 

As well the camp basics, the young people also learn about nature, but more importantly, they learn a lot about themselves.  Many courses use the hackneyed phrase “confidence building”, but in this case it is great to see young people’s confidence in their abilities really develop. 

The group has to work as a team in order to get everything done.  If a fire is not built, there is no heat to keep warm and to cook food and heat water.  Everyone has to pull their weight to collect wood and kindling, and keep the fire tended.  The shelter keeps everyone dry, especially in wet and cold conditions, and is an essential part of the camp.   Collecting and purifying water is another important task. 

In this country, we are never very far from civilisation, but some basic orienteering skills are essential as it is still possible to become lost when you’re in a forest or woodland.  Map reading and orienteering skills are also valuable skills to learn. 

Although it is hard work, and for many young people bushcraft is something completely new and unusual for them, everyone has fun and really enjoys this part of the programme. 

The other essential part of this course for this age group was to learn CV writing and interview skills.   The woodland experiences were used to focus on key transferable skills that are necessary in finding a job and adapting to a workplace or education setting.   Communication, teamwork, perseverance, project management, using initiative, are all skills that employers like to see. 

Some fun indoor activities using visualisation techniques and role play highlighted the connection between the lessons learning in the camp and woodland, and how these could be used to make a CV more interesting, and also give the young people good experiences to talk about at interview stage. 

The group spent time developing their personal profiles for their CV, and practising interview techniques in a simulated job interview setting. 

The next six week programme is due to start in March 2010, followed by work on the larger Nocturne acoustic ecology programme. 

If you would like further information about our courses and workshops, please contact us.

February 28, 2010 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

A New Era for Wolves and People

A New Era for Wolves and People

Cover of new book

A New Era for Wolves and People was first conceptualised by Professor Marco Musiani following a wolf conference in Banff Canada in 2003.  The project did not get off the ground initially, but Marco never dropped the idea and at a another wolf conference in Colorado Springs in 2006 Marco asked if I would help him to produce the book, both as a contributor on conservation education and as project manager.

Marco recruited two other editors: Professors Luigi Boitani and Paul Paquet, both of whom are highly respected in the wolf conservation community and beyond, and who have been working in this field for a number of decades.

At that time we had no funding and no publisher, and it was my job to help with this part of the process.  In the meantime, Marco set about contacting wolf and conservation experts through the world to contribute to the book. 
Marco’s vision was to produce a book that was academically robust, a little controversial and which explored the various facets of what is now known as “human dimensions”, which is primarily concerned with dealing with the various human-wolf and human-human conflicts that arise as a result of both species living side by side. 

Wolf Drawing - by Su Shimeld

Wolf Drawing by Su Shimeld

Marco wanted the book to appeal to a wider audience and so we commissioned wildlife artist, Su Shimeld, to produce a series of beautiful and evocative pencil drawings which depict wolves in various settings and situations. 

Chapters for the book were soon written, edited and peer reviewed, and Marco then had the task of presenting to prospective publishers.  The University of Calgary Press were quick to realise the importance of this book, and immediately agreed to publish it.  However, the book had now become too large for one volume and the decision was taken to split it into two separate books which can be read individually, but which also have very strong links.  (The second book will be published in February 2010).

A New Era for Wolves and People has finally been published and will be launched here in the UK on Saturday 9th November at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust Autumn Open Day (www.ukwolf.org).  The UKWCT also supported the production of the book and it is fitting that the UK launch be held among our eight ambassador wolves at the UKWCT Centre in Reading. 

Copies of A New Era for Wolves and People can be purchased directly from the UKWCT and profits from the book will go towards supporting wild wolf conservation projects.  www.ukwolf.org

November 6, 2009 at 10:25 am 1 comment

Share picnics secure funding

A Very Important Date

A Very Important Date

The Share themed intergenerational picnics this week received the final confirmation that funding has been secured from The Big Lottery Awards for All. 

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is now all set to take place over three days on 25th, 27th and 28th August 2009, at the beautiful gardens at Garden Organic in Coventry. 

The picnics promise to be a magical mix of food, fun and festivities with guests being entertained by actors and performers who will delight them with theatre, performance, mime and music and all sorts of visual and edible treats.

To join the fun contact us by phone on     01788 833232    or email us at denise.taylor@btinternet.com.

July 18, 2009 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment

Harvesting the Sunshine

I’m delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding support through Innovation Networks for the development of our bee game aimed at primary school children.  The game will form part of our blended learning provision under the Harvesting the Sunshine banner, which comprises e-learning materials and resources, games, and the Inspired by Nature workshops.

We have also been awarded INDEX vouchers to the value of £3,000 to buy academic support for EnvELOP and Inspired by Nature.  At the moment, I’m hoping that this will help us with the develoment of environmental education materials.  We need writers and graphic designers to produce robust lesson plans and information for the e-learning programmes.

Final Presentation

Final Presentation

From November 2008 to March 2009 we had the privilege of working with a group of Practice of Management students from Warwick Business School who helped with the strategy development for EnvELOP as part of their year long MBA programme.  I am delighted to report that the POM students won the prize for the best project.

This is the second group of POM students that E4C has worked with, and both have been very successful projects. 

We are in the process of writing our submission for the next intake of students in October 2009. 

We are still seeking writers and developers to produce education materials for our e-learning programmes.  If you or anyone you know can help with this, then please do get in touch with me.  Email: denise.taylor at btinternet.com

May 23, 2009 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

On being inspired…

Both the EnvELOP and Inspired by Nature projects have moved on in leaps and bounds in the past week.  The overall business plan is almost complete, together with financial forecasts, and this will help us to better prepare our funding bids.  We have a few significant funding pots to apply for, and we need to get this pushed forward quickly now. 

We attended two e-learning workshops this week.  One was at the Serious Games Institute in Coventry which always provides lots of inspiration and motivation, as well as the opportunity to meet some great contacts.  This workshop was about serious games and education, and was attended by a few notable people.  This included one of the founder members of Human League and Heaven 17, Martyn Ware, and for those of us of a certain age, this was an interesting diversion during the day.   Martyn is now working on 3D sound projects, and presented on his latest project working with a sensory studio for autistic children.  Truly uplifting stuff.

Inspired by Nature has been receiving the loving attention of two wonderful fine artists, Bob Meddings and Lou Dean, who have taken me and this project under their wings and are nurturing its growth.  So far they have developed four workshop programmes for E4C to take forward into 2009, and things are getting very exciting.  One of the projects is about bees which will tie in very nicely with the serious game about bees being developed for the EnvELOP project. 

If there is a one in a million chance of a philanthropic sponsor ever reading this blog  and would like to sponsor the work we are doing, then please, please get in touch. 

And finally, E4C has received some fantastic support from a wide range of people.  I feel very humbled by the generosity that everyone has displayed.  What a great motivator to really get these projects off the ground.  A huge thank you to you all (you know who you are)….

January 18, 2009 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

EnvELOP

E4C is using WordPress to keep a track of our new project called EnvELOP (Environmental Education & Learning Online Programmes). 

EnvELOP is in development phase and will provide a comprehensive range of e-learning courses using Rich Learning Media.  There are three key target groups for EnvELOP comprising children, young people and professional educators in enviromental and conservation education.

This blog will chart our journey as the project develops.

December 30, 2008 at 8:28 pm Leave a comment

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