All posts by New Forest Education Officer

Helen Robinson, Education Officer for the New Forest National Park Authority since January 2014. Special interests: Geography, ICT and fieldwork, Forest Schools, Wild Play, the New Forest, Navigation, Sustainability projects, Living Willow Sculpture.

The Litter Heroes are coming!

This year Keep Britain Tidy are hosting the Great British Spring Clean. In the New Forest National Park, we have teamed up with the Forestry Commission and New Forest District Council and hundreds of volunteers who collected over 250 bags of litter in one weekend (3rd- 5th March).

Meanwhile, local school children are being treated to special visits from newly qualified “Litter Heroes” in their school assemblies. Complete with cape and superpowers, these visitors are proving very popular way to share messages about caring for the Forest. Continue reading The Litter Heroes are coming!

Show the Love: Guest Blog

Show the Love and Collect Stories for the Tree Charter this February

tree-charter-logo

The Woodland Trust are nearing the end of story gathering for the Tree Charter campaign! You have until the end of February 2017 to add your voice to the Charter for Trees, Woods and People to tell us why you value your trees and woods.

Therefore we are having one last big push until the end of February, and are working with The Climate Coalition, a Tree Charter partner organisation, to collect tree stories and raise awareness of the issues of climate change for trees. This year, the Climate Coalition is producing a special Tree Charter story gathering resource, as part of their wider campaign. You can take part with your school or community group. Why not run an event during the week 6-12th February? (although you can run an event at any time as long as we receive your tree story hearts by the end of February!). Continue reading Show the Love: Guest Blog

Winter Wellbeing

When faced with damp playgrounds, grey skies and soggy winter coats, it’s easy to be discouraged from going outside to learn. The concept of relaxing and enjoying a view or exploring in the dirt can automatically seem less welcoming. So you might not believe me when I tell you the photo above was taken on the New Forest coast this winter. If you step outside your classroom door you’ll never know how the day might turn out, the fact of being outdoors, being active and sharing with others can lift pupils’ mood, creativity and achievement. Some of the best trips we’ve had this year have been on the “grey days” at the end of the year. Continue reading Winter Wellbeing

360° of sky and sea

It’s a great tradition to march a group of students half way along Hurst Spit, come rain or shine. The experience of the wind in your face and trudging through shingle is a memorable one. So much so that the concept of a “depositional feature” or “longshore drift” will hopefully wedge in between those physical memories somewhere. I took the photo above on one such windy day, and if it seems odd, it’s because I used a THETA 360° camera to capture left, right, up, down and behind me. Continue reading 360° of sky and sea

Gear Up for Animal Magic

Thanks to @Parkdiscoverers for visiting and sharing your fantastic ideas for physics fieldwork. We can’t wait to see the resources when you get time to recover from your 12 marathons in every national park!

The National Park Challenge 2016

We saved most of our Science investigations for the day after our New Forest marathon. This was because we had agreed to meet with Helen Robinson, one of the New Forest’s Education Officers and her colleague Aynsley. Our meeting place for the day was the Forest Leisure Cycling Centre in Burley, where Luke had kindly agreed to loan Pam and I two bikes for a couple of hours to do some demonstrations. After meeting up with Helen and Aynsley, we picked up our bikes and rode along the road to one of the many cycle tracks. Pam and I really enjoyed the freedom of being on a bike again and letting our legs spin underneath us. The large comfy seats were much appreciated as our gluts were still screaming at us from our run the day before.

p1000100 Pam, Helen, Aynsley and I Enjoying Some Fun on the Bikes

Once we…

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New Forest Trot

Two innovative teachers are running a marathon in every national park! Read about their unique experience and perspective!

The National Park Challenge 2016

Route: Almost circular route from Lyndhurst to Burley, 26.26miles

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OK, so our original plan for this marathon did not quite happen as we wanted it but like anything science and outdoorsy, it is all about being flexible! Let me explain….

In addition to our Physics investigations throughout the month, we are also looking into different aspects of how the human body is affected by endurance efforts, including some of the misconceptions out there about how to prepare for such events. One such concept is the use of refined carbohydrates and sugar-based foods as a suitable fuel. A fair number of people asked us about carbo-loading during the weeks leading up to this Challenge and we have even joked about the need for cake to keep us going. Sure, cake is a great treat and since we are burning a significant amount of energy, there is little reason for us not…

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New Forest Show’s Countryside Education Competition winners celebrate with a banquet

Hampshire Country Learning

MOS1MOS4 (2)Year 5 and 6 pupils from Milford-On-Sea Primary School were so delighted to have won this year’s Countryside Education Competition that they picked all the fruit and vegetables in their school allotment and prepared a locally sourced feast to celebrate.  The pupils had visited Aubrey Farm at Keyhaven, Setley Ridge Vineyard and Farm Shop, New Forest Aromatics and had a visit from the New Forest Marque.  It was all part of their sustainability in the New Forest project, as they investigated what makes the New Forest area so special, as a tourist destination, as a National Park; and as an area for growing and producing food.  The Judges from the New Forest and Hampshire Show Society were delighted with the pupils understanding of farming, local issues, and the integration of each of their visits across the national curriculum.

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