The WILD Education project was launched at the end of autumn 2014 backed, very kindly, by funding from the Ernest Cook Trust.
The goal of the project was to support the WILD project in spreading awareness, gaining governance and long term sustainability from local parishes and towns about their natural environment, in particular water quality. Since then we have reached out to 23 schools and 3 colleges in the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire area.
The main aim of the project was to enable more schools to visit farms and become aware of the important work farmers do as stewards of the land; this has been achieved through the old Natural England Countryside Stewardship Scheme which ended earlier this year.
We also launched a photographic competition which encouraged all schools in Gloucestershire to enter, showing their interpretation of how water affects the landscape. The funding has enabled us to promote the Gloucestershire FWAG team of volunteers in local colleges and Universities, so students can obtain hands on experience of conservation skills to enhance their studies. So far we have received input from Cirencester College and the Royal Agricultural University with scope to engage with Hartpury and Swindon New College. Furthermore we have been approached for guidance and support from other conservation groups, interested in sharing the educational knowledge they have to offer. The project continues to be a success and will see many more opportunities arise in the coming months.
Many thanks to the Ernest Cook Trust for giving us this exceptional opportunity to engage with these educational establishments.