For Landowners and Gamekeepers
As Landowners and Gamekeepers you hold a wealth of information about the countryside, how it works, sustainability and balance. In education terms this knowledge translates into geography, biology, ecology, biodiversity, resource management and even mathematics. In your environment these topics are packed full of amazing facts, practical skills and just stuff that will excite the imagination of children.
What better reward could there be than to capture a child's imagination and plant the seeds of sustainable management of our beautiful countryside in their minds.
But, in order to do so you have your homework to complete as well and we can help you with that process and support your Estate Open Day with our display boards and exhibits.
Planning a Visit to Your Estate
There is a lot to consider before you welcome guests to your estate. Here are some of the basics.
Liaise with the teacher/group leader regarding health & safety
Make sure the environment and displays are safe for children and adults
Talk to the teacher/group leader about appropriate clothing for the visit. If the visit is mainly outside then consider advising hats, sun cream, insect repellent etc
Ensure the availability of a first aider, either yours or the visitor's
Ask the teacher if they have any special needs e.g. physical disabilities, allergies, and safety issues. Suggest that the more helpers that there are the better, teachers should know the recommended ratios. Make sure you are always free to deal with an emergency; this means that you should not be responsible for a group of your own.
Whilst this may sound a little onerous at first, there is nothing more rewarding than watching a bus load of excited children departing equipped with a fresh look at the way our countryside works. Remember, for some of them it may be their first visit to the countryside. It is our responsibility to introduce them to all things countryside and awake their imagination.
Visiting a School
Just think how powerful the message becomes if, after a visit to your estate, you do a follow up visit to the school?
We all know how important it is to reinforce the messages and follow up on a first contact. Maybe you have set the children some projects on the first visit to your estate. How good would it be to visit the school and check how that went.
First of all, talk to the teacher and plan together what is appropriate for the children. Think of things you liked to do as a child, try to make the visit FUN. Think of all the senses, what could the children, touch, smell, hear and see that would be new to them and make them remember your visit. Keep it short and fun and leave them with something to do.
Here's a few things to think about:
- do they remember what you have shown them
- have they followed up on the information you imparted and done further research
- are they following a Woodcock on the GWCT site
- how are you going to challenge them with a project
The key here is to keep their imaginations engaged. Talk to them about the seasons and what exciting events are coming up in the countryside...and get them to research what you are talking about.