Posts Tagged ‘westonbirt’

Fundraising for the Westonbirt Project by Nick Healey, Project Fundraiser

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

As a new member of the team (started last week), I have been granted a rare treat as part of my induction; a behind the scenes look at the Arboretum I’d only ever viewed as a visiting tourist.

From a guided tour of the old arboretum by Hugh Angus, Head of Tree Collections; to an explanation of the tree planting, pruning and preservation policies and the revolving, five year, cyclical plan by Mark Ballard, Tree Superintendent; and then a sneak peek at the propagation work done by Penny Jones, who grows the seeds to saplings; I feel privileged to be part of such a committed and passionate team. 

Many thanks to all who have taken time out to welcome me and help me understand just how much work goes into maintaining and developing this amazing place.

My role here is to fundraise for the Westonbirt Project. I have several years’ experience in the field, having previously worked for charities, such as CLIC Sargent and more recently, the University of Exeter, helping them to deliver major capital projects through grants from Lottery and statutory bodies, trusts and foundations and major donors. I am passionate about conservation and heritage and think that the Westonbirt Project is a fantastic opportunity to engage more people with trees and enhance the experience for existing visitors.

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!