Help More Inner City Children Experience ‘the best day ever’

Tuesday 14th June 2016

Vote for EcoPark to win a £150,000 eco-classroom!

After a recent visit to EcoPark, in Small Heath, Birmingham, a group of school children proclaimed “it as the best day every”, one even said “it was better than the last school trip to Cadbury World”!


With over 8,000 child visits each year to this natural gem of a site hidden behind shop frontages in a densely residential area of the city, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country are giving children living in inner-city Birmingham an opportunity to be inspired by the natural world.


As the teacher visiting from St. John’s Primary, Sparkhill explained: “The children said it was the best day ever – one even said it was better than the last school trip to Cadbury World. They really enjoyed being able to learn freely outside. For some of them, being able to run through a willow tunnel was a totally new experience. At school, we had been learning about habitats but the children could only find out information from books or the internet as very few had real life experience of hunting for wildlife. They learnt so much from exploring woodland, ponds and field areas.”

Georgia Stokes, CEO of The Wildlife Trust told us more: “EcoPark is really special. In a densely residential area of Birmingham you wouldn’t expect to see woodpeckers, buzzards, newts, frogs and other amazing wildlife but you can see them all, and more besides at EcoPark.”

 


“Children are increasingly losing contact with the natural world, with more time spent indoors and fewer opportunities to explore wild spaces. In some parts of our cities children have little contact with nature on a daily basis.”


“Schools often struggle for space to provide a connection to the natural world, that’s why EcoPark is vital for children in this part of Birmingham. Nature provides so many benefits from physical exercise to reducing stress. Children are happier, healthier and more creative when they are connected to nature, yet so many children, and adults, do not get this opportunity."


The Wildlife Trust plan to give more Birmingham children this unique opportunity but need to improve the resources on site to encourage schools and families from further afield.

As St John’s Primary teacher continued: “The only downside to the venue is that there is no cover if the weather is poor. We were incredibly lucky and had the most amazing weather but, of course, you can’t always guarantee this. It would be a shame if the weather forced a cancellation at the last moment as we had placed the trip into our sequence of lessons at school.”

 

EcoPark is shortlisted in the Jewson’s Building Better Communities final to win £150,000 to improve the facilities at EcoPark and provide an indoor space for schools and the local community to use. Voting can be done from the Jewson’s website, www.buildingbettercommunities.co.uk


Georgia continued: “We are planning to turn our EcoPark reserve into a flagship environmental education centre for school groups and the local community to enjoy, but we are currently being held back by not having any adequate indoor facilities. Please vote for EcoPark to win the Jewson’s Building Better Communities award so we can connect thousands of people with nature in the heart of Birmingham.”


Ends


Notes to Editors

 

  1. The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country are uniquely focused on protecting and enriching the habitats and wildlife of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall. Our focus is to create a Living Landscape for Birmingham and the Black Country and engage local people with our work, connecting them with nature.
  2. The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is part of a network of 47 independent organisations which make up the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) and covers the whole of the UK.
  3. EcoPark, on Hobmoor Road, Small Heath, was established by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country over fifteen years ago as a pioneering environmental site with much of the energy generated through renewable technologies.
  4. Jewson’s Building Better Communities vote ends on Sunday 19th June.
  5. Vote for EcoPark by going here and connecting with facebook: https://www.buildingbettercommunities.co.uk/submission/building-communities-in-birmingham-at-ecopark/
  6. Players of the People's Postcode Lottery generously fund forest school activities and wild play sessions at EcoPark
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Tagged with: Birmingham, Building Better Communities, Child, Children, EcoPark, Environmental education, Jewson, Nature, Nature conservation, Play, Small Heath, Vote, Wildlife, Wildlife trust, Young people