Green Connect to explore using green spaces for education

A major conference considering ways for parks and green space managers to provide services and facilities for education has been announced by Green Connect.

Green Connect to focus on outdoor learning at upcoming conference. Image: Pixabay
Green Connect to focus on outdoor learning at upcoming conference. Image: Pixabay

Despite government cuts across the board, education remains a protected service for Government funding. Young people are also in need of a wider range of skills to succeed in the employment market.

With this in mind, Green Connect's conference will focus on the benefits of learning outdoors - not just about the environment, but learning everything from languages, art and maths, to creating music, project planning and developing business skills.

Recent reports from organisations such as Natural England and Groundwork and academic establishments including Derby University have shown outdoor learning is highly beneficial, but have also found access to outdoor learning varies widely.

Green Connect director Karen Hughes said: "The conference will help park managers, community development officers, park rangers, volunteers and others working in green spaces to address the barriers preventing schools and young people from using the outdoors for learning.

"The whole day's agenda will be discussed in the context of reducing budgets and staff resources; indeed there will discussion groups to consider this subject which I am sure a lot of people will be keen to attend and which will hopefully capture some useful ideas and some of the great work already happening."

The April conference will feature speakers from leading organisations in the Government-supported push to increase learning in the environment. These include the government's Natural Connections pilot project; a member of the national Strategic Research Group for Learning in Natural Environments; Plymouth City Council's Green Infrastructure Service and Bournemouth Borough Council's Parks Service.

The programme for the day will be supplemented with short insights into the experiences of the Nesta-supported Rethinking Parks projects, the subject of Green Connect's last conference, which have just concluded.

The conference will be held at Dillington House, Ilminster on 28 April. The cost of a delegate ticket is £95 with one free place for organisations who are paid-up supporters of Green Connect.

The agenda and full details of how to book are available on Green Connect’s website.

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