As the seasons change and the temperatures drop, it’s worth reflecting on a fruitful year of learning at Barnes Common, writes our Education and Outdoor Learning Officer, Paddy Hayes. A long time has passed since our Winter Walk around the Common in the January sunshine, followed by our Wassail and our regular Yaffles sessions during the early part of the year. The following months were filled with workshops, walks, and talks, covering art, history, bats, birds and much more.
The weeks flew by as we hosted regular groups from 4 local schools in April, May, June, and July, and before we knew it the time to launch our Eco-Explorers Summer Camp had arrived. For a week at the start of the summer holidays 10 young people got to know the ins and outs of the Common and how to recognise and advocate for the wildlife that lives here. The summer sun persisted into September, when we hosted our first ever Dementia Friendly Walk, and it was still sunny when University of Roehampton’s trainee teachers visited in October. The temperatures did drop though, just in time for our Autumn Fayre and the return of our monthly Yaffles Family Nature Club for 3-9 year olds.
A year of growth, with new opportunities explored, new sessions trialled, and new relationships and connections made. In the coming weeks and into 2024 we aim to build on our successes, facilitating more creative and engaging workshops, launching a regular series of Eco-Explorer workshops for 10-14 year olds, and working with more schools and educational organisations. Come along to an event, recommend Barnes Common to your school communities, friends and families, or get in touch to volunteer and support our vision of Lifelong Learning for all.