The Meadway Woodland Project
As part of its commitment to engage and enrich the learning experience of all of its students, The Pavilion Study Centre at Meadway, Barnet, has launched an exciting Woodland Project. Neighbours, parents and friends were invited to a Cheese and Wine evening during which the project manager, Lesley Graham, explained how both students and the local community would benefit from a sensitive programme of careful conservation whilst creating stimulating learning opportunities. It is hoped that the space can be used to inspire creativity in art and drama, provide fieldwork and practical opportunities in maths and science as well as teaching a wide range of woodland crafts, environment conservation skills and general communication and team building skills.
The Pavilion moved into the Meadway base two years ago, providing education and respite for secondary aged students who find mainstream schooling too challenging due to behaviour, learning difficulties, emotional challenges or educational needs. Until now, the woodland space has not only been ignored, but has been victim to trespassers cutting down trees and others leaving rubbish. Neighbours, who had become increasingly concerned, were delighted to hear that their once beautiful views will be restored. A request was made for physical help, gardening equipment, as well as volunteers for a fund raising committee. In fact, over twenty people have now offered to help clear the site of oil drums, broken chairs and neglected undergrowth at the first community effort at the end of September. Some guests were particularly interested in protecting the site for wildlife and were pleased to learn that it is intended to make bird boxes and feeders and use log piles to create habitats for insects.
Ms Graham explained how the London Wildlife Trust and Groundworks had surveyed the site and were going to provide some expert advice. Simone Shepherd of Saracens attended the evening as part of the ongoing work that it does with The Pavilion and she said that the Saracens will look forward to supporting the project.
Head teacher, Ms Joanne Kelly, was pleased to answer questions and expressed her excitement for the project. “A number of our young people live in crowded conditions and have no experience of a garden, let alone a wonderful natural environment like this woodland. We are delighted to be able to offer them this important opportunity to participate in turning this area into a place to enjoy, extending their learning and developing their role as responsible citizens.” Councillor Brian Salinger, Chair of the Management Committee, endorsed the project as did visitors from the local authority and parents.
If you would like to volunteer to be part of this project, please contact The Pavilion Study Centre and leave your details.