Archive for November, 2009

A Crazy Normal Day In Education by Caroline Bennett

Friday, November 20th, 2009

It’s not often you can fit 28 children into one puddle, but it has been that sort of week here in education. It has been fairly wet and muddy but we go out in most weather (thunder and lighting the exception) and it can make for excellent photo opportunities like the one described above. This week we have taught children from five different schools, varying in age from 4 to 16, covering topics from energy flow in the food chain to the difference between evergreen and deciduous trees. Just trying to alter my walking speed each day was a challenge in itself!

Many children do not have much opportunity to experience a woodland environment, so being able to show them glades filled with leaves, badger setts and trees from all around the world is a real treat.  My job is nearly always slightly surreal (the way I like it!) and this week is no different. I have found myself filling badger soft toys with hot water, convincing a teenager that he is really a caterpillar, demonstrating the correct use of “magic paint” onto tree bark and trying to teach five year olds how to do a Mexican wave outside the toilet block.

Behind the scenes in the office we have less glamorous tasks to complete, such as confirming bookings and updating the database. Friday will be the day for catching up cleaning the education centre. Christmas is coming and we will be ordering plenty of glitter and collecting buckets of cones to make decorations with.  We’ll be working with 270 children over 4 days next week so it looks like we’ll be fairly busy!

I Am The Project Director by Miranda Winram

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

This is my first blog as Project Director, so in time honoured Blind Date fashion I thought I’d tell you what my name is and ‘whur’ I come from (as my in laws are from Liverpool, I reckon I’m allowed to make Scouse jokes…).

So: I’m Miranda Winram. I’ve just moved to Nailsworth from Yorkshire, and I’m here because this looked like a fun job with the great opportunity to help more people enjoy what a brilliant place the Arboretum and Gardens are.

I’ve been in post for exactly three months now, and it’s gone in a blur. So far, I seem to have ‘Directed’ the appointment of a company to develop architects drawings and plans for the new and refurbished buildings and conservation stonework we need (both for the Arboretum and the Gardens), to have helped choose a very beautiful Walkway and Tower for the arboretum (on view in the Great Oak Hall reception), and to have recruited a Head of Fundraising for the Project. I’m hoping she’ll come in handy at raising the cash to build all these wonderful new things….

What’s Happening In Propagation by Penny Jones

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I’ve been out walking around the arboretum over the last few weeks, finding just the right location for 270 different specimens of trees and shrubs. Quite a job as you can imagine (covering an area of 600 acres), but one that is very enjoyable too. Of course I have to make sure that each specimen I plant, fits into the original Holford style which is quite a responsibility.

I’m happy to say that my seed collecting trip to Japan last autumn has proved to be very successful as I’m already using those plants that germinated from seed last Spring. Some of the specimens are: Betula maximowicziana, Cornus kousa, Cercidiphyllum japonicum, Clerodendrum trichotomum, Malus tschonoskii, Pterostyrax hispidus, Malus tschonoskii, Pterostyrax hispidus, Betula maximowicziana.