A Celebration of Outdoor and Environmental Education at Ufton Court

A Celebration of Outdoor and Environmental Education at Ufton Court with the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire

Report by Ricky Josey

Thursday 11th September 2008

The event was designed to put the educators in contact with outdoor learning providers, therein providing the opportunity to review projects, investigate funding possibilities and understand what is already available to the local community, schools and environment groups.

The highlight of the evening was a presentation by Randal Keynes, Randall is the great great grandson of Charles Darwin and the family historian of Charles Darwin., the highlight of the speech was comments from Darwin’s field notebooks in that in Darwin’s notes and in the notes of environmental explorers of the time there was no mention of the impact of man on the environment. This, Randall surmises, is because at the time man was in the process of discovering the natural resources of the world, today, man is the key cause of environment changes, in both physical destruction of environments for natural resources, transfer of land use to food production and house building through to large scale emissions of greenhouse gasses. He went on to say that this cannot continue as it is, we need to educate the next generations to understand the natural systems and learn new ways to coexist or risk the destruction and extinction of whole ecosystems around the world.

There were a large number of organisations in attendance, from primary school ages through to leadership opportunities for teenagers, with events ranging from local nature organisations, the West Berks supported Adventure Dolphin at Pangbourne, Young Farmers Association and local schools showing their successes at setting up projects, this names just a few of the organisations present, several of which I collected information from to supply to the Theale Environment Group that is currently under construction. If you have ideas and/or would like to be interested in helping to set up this group please email environment@thealevillage.com
with your ideas/suggestions. The event was aimed at children of all school ages and should provide a solid foundation for a youth environment group to be formed in Theale.

My congratulations to the High Sheriff on this superb event.

Ricky Josey
Theale’s future