Saturday, 2 January 2016

Reaseheath Outdoor Education Centre

I've always worried about how city people have lost touch with how their food is produced.  Cheshire Education Committee were keen that this shouldn't happen - and the Reaseheath Outdoor Education Centre run by a very enthusiastic Simon Young was one of the first centres of its kind.

Below I've reproduced a page about it, which is from a Cheshire College of Agriculture prospectus (which Peter Brand has kindly lent me). I'm guessing it's from around about 1987 as a label has been put over George England's name, showing Vic Croxson as the new principal. 
Jackie Symms tells me that the above photo was taken at Underwood West Infant School in Crewe, probably very early 80s.  The children loved the experience.

Reaseheath Outdoor Education Centre  
Warden: S. W. Young, D.P.T., C.Biol., M.I.Biol., Cert Ed.
Assistant: Mrs. D. l. Robinson, Cert.Ed.
Secretary: Mrs. B. Harvey
Poultry Manager: R B. Nicholls

The Reaseheath Outdoor Education Centre is one of seven centres established by the Cheshire Education Committee. Making full use of the College farms and grounds it allows visitors to see practical farming and conservation measures running side by side. The Centre is a day centre with limited accommodation for residential courses and caters for pupils from infants to college students. The College is able to provide a cooked mid-day meal and the centre has the provision of a fully equipped workroom, a small laboratory and a changing room.

Most schools visit the centre in order to study, at first hand, topics of a biological, ecological, geographical or historical nature and many use the farming countryside around as the motivation for subjects such as Mathematics, spoken and written English and Art.

Residential Field Study courses are provided for pupils taking G.C.E. "A", "O", "16+ " and C.S.E. examinations. A number of specialist and introductory courses for teachers are also held during the year.

Certain areas on the farm are being conserved as more natural habitats to show
pupils fauna and flora not directly affected by commercial farming. The management of these areas is carried out by a volunteer conservation corps and by local school pupils. The centre is also actively involved with the Cheshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group offering conservation advice to farmers and organising conservation management courses and conferences.

An Educational Farm visit scheme has been started whereby schools can now make use of 20 Cheshire farms located near large towns and cities. Courses and talks on the farming countryside are organised for the general public and recently "Farm School" visits have been conducted taking live farm animals into urban schools.

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