An interview with Lorna Fox – Head of Engagement and Learning at Gloucestershire wildlife trust

About Gloucestershire wildlife trust

  • Manages around 60 sites in Gloucestershire, including Sites of Special Scientific INterest, and some Iron Age archaeological sites.
  • Most sites are very wild and do not have a visitor centre, but are beautiful and environmentally significant sites.
  • Crickley Hill and Greystones Farm are Gateway sites, which feature more facilities like visitors centres and cafes.

Find out more at the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust website

Public programmes

More details can be found on their Learning pages.

Minibeast Detectives/Scientists

Popular with classes of all ages and families. Particularly popular with Early Years – KS1 (Age 3-7)

Format of the session lends itself to being informal and open, or more formal.

Individuals can participate in the session in ways which suit them.

  • Focus on collecting, sorting, or in-depth examination of a creature
  • Can be more cooperative, semi-competitive (Catch more than other groups)

Simple but effective equipment, facilitated by knowledgeable staff.

Iron age experience

  • Bookable by schools at real Iron Age site.
  • Half or whole day experiences in reconstruction of the settlement
  • Dress up and experience life and the natural world in the Iron Age
    • Activities include: Bushcraft skills, Iron Age cookery, build the wall of a hut
    • Focus on thinking about what the landscape would have been like in the past, comparison with the landscape today, and how humans have caused those changes.
  • Much more structured than Minibeast Detective because of how busy the day is.
  • Programme is still booked in winter months, when bookings for other sessions are low.

Restore our future

We know that single visits can be great experiences which support learning. However these single experiences are not well linked to behaviour or attitude changes. Regular/recurring experiences are more effective. However there are practical and financial limitations on schools being able to visit a site multiple times a year. To get around these limitations Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust if piloting a programme to support schools in developing their own green spaces and build teachers’ confidence and expertise in using those spaces.

  • Aim is for partnerships to take place over a number of years so the wildlife trust can really support the embedding of a school culture with strong link to nature and the environment.
  • Length of partnership is important to ensure it is bedded in and not dependant on a single teacher or administrator’s enthusiasm.

Gloucestershire schools interested in the programme should contact Gloucestershire Wildlife trust at: info@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.ukOr contact Lorna Fox directly at: lorna.fox@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk

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