MP celebrates outdoor learning at WWT Arundel
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert joined a Sussex school on Friday (8 July) to take part in a national celebration of learning outside the classroom.
Nick Herbert met Year 5 pupils from Brighton based St Josephs Catholic Primary School when they visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre in Arundel on their outdoor learning experience.
The group enjoyed a pond dipping session at the specially designed Pond Explorer part of the centre. The MP helped the enthusiastic school children find insects and larvae and identify their catches. Inside the Pond Explorer building they were able to see what they had caught on a magnifier-linked television screen. The children delighted in seeing their creatures in more detail and learning more about them.
The outdoor learning event was held in partnership with the RSPB and Field Studies Council (FSC) and was a national event taking place in wildlife centres across the country.
The Wildfowl and Wetlands centres were established in 1946, and education has been central to the work they do. They now have nine centres in the UK and are also involved in conservation projects abroad. Over 140,000 children have already visited the centre in Arundel, located near the castle, and for many their visit has been their first up close contact with the natural world.
Martin Spray, Chief Executive of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Centres said, "We are delighted to have our local MP, Nick Herbert, join us today and see what we provide educationally. Engaging and inspiring young people with the natural environment have been an important part of WWT's activities and objectives since its inception in 1946.
"Children now have the experience of looking at the internet for information, but I don't want them to experience nature on a computer. They need to get out and to experience it, and that is what we do well here at WWT centres."
At the end of the visit, Mr Herbert commented: "I think this is the most fantastic initiative. It was great to see the children paying such close attention and really enjoying themselves while learning about wildlife. It is a wonderful thing to get them out to the Wetlands Centre and to see them so engrossed.
"I think the more we can do to get children out into the natural world, learning about the environment about them, and enjoyment being a huge part of that learning, the better.
"I am full of admiration and praise for the work that is being done at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, and hope that many more children enjoy the experience."
Notes for Editors
- For further details about the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, visit http://www.wwt.org.uk