Outdoor Education students go ‘rewild’ in Berry Hill

Image representing Outdoor Education students go ‘rewild’ in Berry Hill

Gloucestershire College’s Outdoor Education department has teamed up with The Rewild Project to help restore the Berry Hill Community Orchard next to the Royal Forest of Dean Campus in Coleford.

10 students on the Level 3 Outdoor Education course volunteered their time over the winter months to help The Rewild Project team with some of the ground work construction, including building pathways and planting trees, in order to achieve the Environmental Education unit of their course.

The Rewild Project is a non-profit social enterprise, founded by Scott Baine, which aims to reconnect people to nature and their ancestral heritage through arts and crafts, growing food, outdoor learning and community building projects.

Image representing Outdoor Education students go ‘rewild’ in Berry Hill

Scott designed the Berry Hill Community Orchard, which is situated on a piece of waste land, using a variety of different trees and plants which will grow together; improving the quality of the soil using permaculture principles.

Scott said: "It was great to work with young students who were happy to help out on the Berry Hill Community Orchard. They really enjoyed planting cherry, plum, apple and pear trees, and got stuck into moving tons of soil. I hope to see them again on more community projects we do. Thanks!"

Colin Johnson, Outdoor Education Lecturer, said: “This has been an ideal opportunity for our students to get involved with a sustainable community project in Berry Hill. Through this they have learned how to design a permaculture orchard and plant and care for the fruit trees. As the project is sustainable, the students will be able to return to the site in the future and see how their work has helped the community of Berry Hill and how the project develops over the years.”

17-year-old Ethan Wilkins, a former Lakers School pupil from Coleford, added: “It feels great to be involved with a project right on our doorstep, which will be developing further over the coming years. The project has really opened my eyes to a new area of the outdoor industry that I didn’t know much about.”

Available at Levels 1 to 3 at the Royal Forest of Dean Campus, the GC Outdoor Education course gives students the opportunity to take part in various activities, from paddle sports to mountain biking, and learn water-based, land-based, fitness and expedition skills, to qualify them for a range of careers in the outdoor adventure industry.

Those interested in finding out more about the course can speak to students and course lecturers at the RFD Open Evening next Wednesday 27 January, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Pre-register for your place at www.gcopeneve.co.uk

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