Garvagh Development Trust create a forest school #A4ANI Funded

Primary school children in the Garvagh area are coming together to learn new skills in a forest school, thanks to a grant from Big Lottery Fund.

Garvagh Development Trust has received a £9.982 grant from our Awards for All programme. It is part of last week’s announcement of £693,133 to 82 groups across Northern Ireland. (see separate list of full awards)

Garvagh Development Trust supports people in Garvagh and the surrounding area. They are using the £9,982 to create a forest school which will be a shared learning space for the community. The project includes forest school training, cookery demonstrations and crafts.

The Trust is working in partnership with Corrymeela and the Northern Ireland Forest School Association, with the support of Garvagh Enterprise Trust to develop and deliver a forest school programme with five local primary schools: St Patrick’s & St Joseph’s PS, Garvagh PS, St Columba’s PS, Carhill IPS, and Gorran PS.

Karin Eyben of the Development Trust and Corrymeela said: “The idea for a Forest School in Garvagh emerged out of the many discussions about the possibilities for the former Garvagh High School site. Local people strongly felt that the heritage of the site next to Garvagh Forest, with its history of education and learning, should be maintained and built on through the idea of a forest school as a shared learning space.

“Imagine a school where children and young people are learning together in a forest: coming together to do fractions using twigs, trigonometry by climbing trees, science when splashing in the stream, and history by undertaking archaeological digs and interpreting hieroglyphics. This is the shape of how education will be delivered in Garvagh over coming years.”

The children and the teachers will take part in a range of activities in the forest, learning about trees, plants and animals and developing new skills such as den building and creating bug hotels.

Their new learning and skills will be showcased on the Garvagh Big Forest Day on Saturday 25th June when the potential of the heritage, history and eco-system of the whole site will be showcased to local people.

Read more about the Awards for All announcement here 

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