Aims: Increase Awareness, Community Engagement
There is a growing realisation that the potential of the natural environment to improve people’s quality of life has yet to be fully realised. Our passion is to teach people about the importance of the brook and encourage them to appreciate and care for it. We do this in a number of ways, including:
Working with Local Schools
Worryingly, evidence suggests that young people are becoming disconnected from nature. Our work with local schools provides local school children with a safe opportunity to learn to value the brook and the wildlife that depends on it. It also helps them build confidence in exploring and enjoying green space.
We have produced an educational package linked to the primary school National Curriculum, which includes classroom activities such as investigating food chains and learning about the history of the brook, field visits to the brook and its corridor, river dipping to identify aquatic creatures, litter picking and measuring water flow.
A teacher at Millbrook Primary School commented recently:
We were delighted with the support provided by the Project Officer and our ongoing relationship with the Letcombe Brook project. Before meeting Mark, our Year 3 pupils were unaware of the importance of the brook so close to their homes and lacked knowledge about ecosystems. Mark kindly arranged a talk for each class that was very well organised and had pictures children could relate to. We then organised a stream dipping trip where a total of 61 children worked during the day in small groups looking at different creatures. They identified them and learnt about their role in the brook. Following the trip, Mark came for a final visit to hear from the children all about their learning and to find out how they, as tomorrow’s citizens, will look after the brook. Without Mark we would not have had the expertise or equipment to lead such an engaging activity. Invaluable!
We are grateful to Williams F1 for sponsoring our education package. This has meant we’ve been able to purchase new equipment and have been able to extend our offer to all local primary schools.
If you would like your school to take part, please get in touch.
We are keen to offer fieldwork experience such as riverfly surveying and habitat surveys to science students in secondary education. Also, we can offer work experience to a couple of students each year. For Duke of Edinburgh Award participants, there is space available on our regular monthly work parties.
Talks to Local Community Groups
Over the past five years, these have included the U3A, Chaddleworth Gardening Club, Wantage Trefoil Guides, the Wantage Wildlife and Archaeology Group, Childrey Tuesday Club, the Marcham Society, Probus and Grove Methodist Church. Regular talks to the general public have also been given at The Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage.
Please get in touch if you would like us to talk to your group.
Information boards about the history and ecology of the brook are located at various public open spaces along the brook corridor, including Willow Walk in Wantage, Village and Mary Green in Grove and Mably Way in Grove.
Discovery Trail Leaflets
Four discovery trail leaflets explore the history, ecology and landscape of the areas and designed to encourage people to get out and explore and engage with the brook.
Exhibitions and Workshops
We have taken part in a number of workshops and exhibitions to publicise the work of the project. We work closely with the Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage and a permanent exhibition about the project and its flora and fauna is under development there.