Over 200 primary school children visited Duchy College Stoke Climsland's annual Countryside Day to learn about the environment and to take part in a varied range of activities laid on by the College's students.
The event was organised by second year students studying the Foundation Degree in Rural Environmental Management, awarded by Plymouth University. For this year's Countryside Day they chose the theme ‘sustainable environment' to tie in with the current ‘buzzwords' that will be familiar to the children. The aim of the day was to give the pupils of the five local primary schools a better understanding of some of the environmental challenges that we face.
The schools that attended the day were Burraton Community Primary, Tavistock Community Primary, Delaware Community Primary, Sir Robert Geffery's School and Stoke Climsland Primary School.
The college campus was divided into fourteen different zones, and activities for the day were set up by students at Duchy College studying a variety of courses and external agencies that had been invited. Interactive story-telling was run by childcare students, a composting and wormery demonstration was put on by the countryside students and a hay bale maze was organized by the public services students.
Guest organisations included the Westcountry Rivers Trust, Plymouth Museum, Southwest Lakes Trust, National Trust and Natural England who all ran their own activities.
The day was filled with fun and excitement. The school children met Duchy College's newest resident Lucy the Barn Owl who was rescued two months ago.
Three local supermarkets kindly sponsored the event, donating food and snacks for the volunteers. Ginsters donated 220 pasties, Tesco gave £20 worth of snacks and Co-op donated snacks for the day.
One of the student organisers Elaine Marjoram, said: "By the end of the day, we hoped to have encouraged consideration of some current environmental issues and to have inspired imaginations and enthusiasm for the natural world, allowing the children to begin to forge their own ideas for solutions to the problems."
Matt, a year five pupil from Burraton Primary School said: "Thank you for everything that we did on our countryside day. It was extremely interesting and I learnt a lot, like polystyrene can keep for millions of years without decomposing."
Pupils Clare and Freyja from Burraton Primary School wrote to thank organisers saying: "We are thanking you for letting us come to your college and experience the entertaining things that you do at this amazing college. We all wish to come back and do it all over again, it was so fun. We miss it already!"
Programme Manager Jurie Intachat, said: "I want to thank the sponsors Ginsters, Tesco and Co-op for kindly donating food and snacks for the day. It was a fantastic day with great weather, and all the students worked really hard to make the day a success."
Head of Duchy College Andrew Counsell, said: "Countryside Day is a great opportunity for our students to work together to organise and run a logistically complex event, while providing an inspirational and educational day out for local primary school children. It is always a great learning experience for the students to assist school children in observing and understanding wild life in the countryside. Our thanks go out to school teachers and parents who assisted on the day and to the countryside students who planned an enjoyable event."
For more information on Countryside courses available at Duchy College Stoke Climsland please contact Duchy College on 01579 372233 or visit www.duchy.ac.uk.
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