Mend the Gap: encouraging landscape literacy in local schools.

Mend the Gap: encouraging landscape literacy in local schools.

Exciting plans are underway in the Mend the Gap programme area to encourage primary and secondary schools to better understand and engage with the landscapes of the Chilterns and North Wessex Downs, while also improving their local school environment.

The programme has agreed to fund an audit of the outdoor spaces of eight primary schools and four secondary schools in the Mend the Gap programme area. These advisory visits, carried out by industry leaders Learning through Landscapes, will identify ways that the school grounds can become functional and inspirational places for learning and play, and actively support students’ personal development. The schools will then be supported to apply for funding from Mend the Gap to implement the audit’s recommendations, which might include anything from habitat creation to interpretation of the area’s local heritage.

Four secondary schools will also have the opportunity to take part in a school-based discovery workshop hosted by The Visionaries, which will encourage students to develop an understanding of their immediate landscape at school, and acquire the vocabulary to describe and engage with it. Students will take part in an off-site workshop at the Hardwick Estate in the Chilterns, where they will be introduced to a variety of landscape management techniques and have the chance to explore the unique nature of the site.

“This is an exciting initiative,” said Programme Manger Ruth Staples-Rolfe. “[It] will help schools understand the unique nature of the Chilterns and North Wessex Downs, and hopefully sow the seeds for a closer, sustainable relationship between these schools and their local environment.”

Find out more about other projects funded by the Mend the Gap.

Featured image: Learning through Landscapes. 

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Grounds for Learning, Caledonia Primary School © Malcolm Cochrane Photography

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