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The network of community groups committed to the care of the environment, greener living and development of the local economy in Berkshire
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Description

Environmental Education

Beale Park
Education in the Environment at Beale Park offer a flexible package of study programmes for primary and secondary schools designed to provide students with exciting practical experience, as well as a better understanding of the physical world around them. Facilities include a well resourced classroom with specialist field study equipment and tailored courses delivered by a team of experienced teachers with extensive knowledge of the local environment. Additionally there are many other activities for parents and young children throughout the year but, due to their popularity, they get booked up early.
The Centre itself has an enviable location on the banks of the River Thames near Pangbourne and can offer a "complete experience". Besides its bird sanctuary of native and exotic species, water meadows, woodland, large reed beds and an organic farm lie within its 400 hectares. Follow the trail around Church Farm and learn at first hand how organic farming methods are important in preserving and sustaining valuable wildlife habitats such as the flower meadows. No need to book first as there's free access.
Visit now at www.bealepark.co.uk

Environmental Education for schools
Sustainability and Environmental education in schools network is at www.se-ed.org.uk

Groundwork South works with businesses, local authorities and schools.  Contact: Groundwork South, tel: 01895 832662  http://www.groundwork.org.uk/sites/south

CREATE, the Centre for Research, Education and Training in Energy, provide information on energy efficiency for schools including grants. Visit their website at www.create.org.uk.

Also worth a visit is www.eco-schools.org.uk

The Rescue Project  will pay educational visits to schools with owls, hawks and other animals. Find out more at www.owlandpetrescue.co.uk/

Living Rainforest
The Living Rainforest situated at Hampstead Norreys near Thatcham recreates the rainforest environment with the aim of helping conserve this threatened habitat worldwide. Special schools education programme, children's workshops and many other activities organised. Website: www.livingrainforest.org

Nature Centres
Nature Centres throughout the county offer extensive programme of walks, talks, training days and special events of interest to the general public. In addition, the Countryside Services run tailored activities aimed at children, school groups and people of all ages wanting to learn more about our native wildlife and local habitats or wishing to take a more active part in nature conservation. For further details contact:

Dinton Pastures Country Park in Wokingham District
The Look Out Nature Discovery Centre in Bracknell Forest District
Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham (BBOWT)
Woolley Firs, Maidenhead (BBOWT) - open for public events only.

Plants
Flora Locale promotes good practice in the sourcing and use of native plants for wildlife schemes. They run a training programme in growing and using plants and offer technical advice and specification for native plants. More information on their website www.floralocale.org or contact Sue Everett on tel 01635 550380
Flower Farms near Hungerford run half-day workshops in restoring wild flowers to gardens and countryside, propagation of wild flowers as well as full-day workshops on hedge laying and tree and shrub planting and pruning. To find out more phone 01672 870782 for a brochure and order form for wide range of seeds of native plants or see website www.charlesflower-wildflowers.co.uk
Herbiseed, based at Twyford, are producers of wild plants, weeds, pharmaceutical plants and other unusual species from around the world. They also offer technical advice and other related services. Full information at www.herbiseed.com

Rowanleaf
A freelance educationalist, Becca Flintham delivers workshops for schools and youth groups across Berkshire and works part-time for the RSPB. She writes a regular blog about a range of subjects including environmental education, practical nature conservation volunteering and sustainability in Berkshire. Learn more at http://rowanleaf.co.uk/

UK Wolf Conservation Trust
In 1999 four European wolves were born at the UK Wolf Centre in Berkshire, the first to be born in this country for over 700 years. The Trust aims to educate the public about the grey wolf, now reduced to only a very few places in Europe, through opportunities to help in their conservation in the wild and interact with them at the centre. The Trust runs an educational programme and visit schools and local shows. To find out more contact the Shows Co-ordinator at: UK Wolf Centre, Butlers Farm, Beenham, Reading, Berks RG7 5NT. Tel: 0118 971 3330    www.ukwolf.org

Visit a Local Organic Farm
Modern day living means that for many the connection with the land and food production has become remote. Most of our food has now fallen into the hands of "agribusiness" whose scale and methods have caused widespread losses of once familiar landscapes and a massive decline in once-common farmland birds. However, a few farms prefer to work with nature rather than against and produce food in a more environmentally benign manner. Berkshire is fortunate in having a number of working "demonstration" farms with a strong educational programme. The farms listed below welcome visitors to see for themselves that productive farming and agriculture does not have to be detrimental to land and our native creatures. All have special open days and run an educational programme:
Waltham Place Organic Farm, near Maidenhead 
Elm Farm Research Centre, West Berkshire
Rushall Manor Farm, near Reading
Sheepdrove Organic Farm, West Berkshire

WWF
WWF's Education Department has been developed over 17 years and now provides a wide range of teaching and learning materials for schools. The resources available help teachers to deliver the curriculum, address key skills and help young people to develop greater understanding of environmental issues. The WWF dedicated web-site for teachers brings together the latest information on environmental education with interactive features such as Internet debates and on-line resource material. More information on www.wwf.org.uk or phone Education Department on 01483 426444 for a copy of the latest Education Catalogue.

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