Never too late to learn

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27 AUGUST 2010NEWS RELEASE No: 13971

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While the children were on holiday, some of their teachers went back to school this summer at a range of training days in North East Wales organised by Forestry Commission Wales’s Woodlands for Learning team.

The 12 training days took place in public and private woodlands and in country parks in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire.

Attendees tried out different activities to experience themselves the tasks undertaken by children on education events in the woodlands.

How to teach topics such as ecology and biodiversity were covered during the sessions and the participants learnt how to deal with different ages and types of groups in a woodland setting.

They went out into the woods to follow the Moel Famau Numeracy Trail and practice bushcraft skills before crafting items with wood from bird boxes to willow weaving.

There was also the chance for the participants to get creative, making lanterns and trying their hand at pyrography – the art of using a hot tool to decorate wood.

One of the attendees, Vanessa Warrington from Denbighshire Countryside Service, said, "The pyrography was a nice, short, achievable thing to do with families.

"The lantern making was brilliant and we will be able to use this activity in our Jubilee Tower Festival in October."

The training days were attended by teachers, trainers and others involved in learning from the North East Wales Forest Education Initiative (FEI) Cluster Group, known as Impio.

The FEI aims to increase the understanding and appreciation, particularly among young people, of trees, woodlands and forests and the link between the tree and everyday wood products.

Carolyn Threlfall from the Woodlands for Learning team said, "FEI Cluster Group members draw down money from the FEI partnership fund to deliver projects to children but often miss out on training for themselves.

"It’s been good for them to take time out and sharpen up their own skills and it’s been great for us to be able to give something back to the members by helping them improve their skills and share good practice."

Many of the workshop providers who ran the training days will be running workshops at the 2010 FEI GB National Networking Day which takes place on 10 September in Llangollen.

Picture caption: Charlotte Elms making a mini roundhouse

Notes to Editors

Forestry Commission Wales’s Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners

The Forest Education Initiative (FEI) aims to increase the understanding and appreciation, particularly among young people, of the environmental, social, and economic potential of trees, woodlands and forests and of the link between the tree and everyday wood products.

FEI is a network organisation made up of cluster groups. These groups attuned to local needs and include teachers, woodland owners, environmental charities, LEA reps and FCW Woodlands for Learning Team who often take on the role of secretary. There are currently 22 cluster groups in Wales.

For more information on FEI and how to join your local cluster group go to www.foresteducation.orgor contact Kim Burnham, Wales Co-ordinator on 0300 068 0300

For more information about the Impio cluster group in North East Wales go to