Wildwood is celebrating after receiving a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to build desperately needed new woodland learning facilities.
As an outdoor destination, Wildwood is at the mercy of the great British weather meaning that in wet or windy conditions the park struggles to offer educational courses and events. This grant will greatly improve Wildwood's educational scope with the provision of two new outdoor learning facilities; a new woodland classroom and a dedicated training workshop.
The two new learning spaces will be built by Wildwood's in-house team using recycled materials and timber from our coppiced woodland in line with Wildwood's commitment to creating environmentally friendly structures in the woodland.
The new log-cabin style woodland classroom will greatly enhance our educational service to school and college students studying topics such as conservation, environmental studies, science and animal behaviour, allowing them work in the woodland through all weathers.
The project will also give 40 volunteer trainees per year the opportunity to get involved in wildlife conservation projects by providing a dedicated training facility. This woodland workshop will provide a much needed sheltered area where our ranger and conservation volunteers can learn tool-use to create bird or bat boxes, create simple structures for our water vole, red squirrel and hazel dormice conservation projects, and create animal activities for enrichment for our endangered wildlife, whilst building confidence and life skills.
Anne Riddell, head of education at Wildwood Trust, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this grant by the Big Lottery Fund. Our indoor classroom is in high demand and there are times when we have to disappoint schools because we simply cannot fit them all in. Although we offer a range of outdoor activities and workshops as an alternative, the English weather is not always kind. An outdoor classroom which provides shelter so that children can carry out activities in all weathers and provides an overflow for the main classroom is much needed so that children can continue to explore the exciting world outside the classroom."