NEW OUTDOOR WOODLAND CLASSROOM WILL HELP RAISE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS IN URBAN SCHOOLS

New outdoor woodland classroom will help raise environmental awareness in urban schools.

School children living in urban areas surrounding the Cotswolds are to benefit from a new outdoor classroom at Rendcomb College and Junior School. The school which is already working with two local community projects has plans to offer the use of the classroom to nearby schools in urban areas such as Cirencester, Cheltenham and Gloucester. Nursery schools and community groups will also be encouraged to use the facility.

Jonathon Porritt (CBE) will help open the woodland classroom by planting a Golden Rain Tree along with Major Tom Wills, Chairman of the Trustees at Rendcomb College on Saturday the 27th of May at 10.30 am. Members of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, the organisation which helped to part-fund the project will also attend.

The outdoor woodland classroom will provide the opportunity for school children to learn more about nature in a stimulating and ecologically friendly environment.

The project was financed by Rendcomb College and Junior School with the help of the Cotswolds Conservation Board which provided £5,600 from the Sustainable Development Fund. (That is 67% of the total cost of the project). The fund supports projects that bring social, environmental and economic benefits to the Cotswolds. Up to £90,000 is available for projects within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) this year and the scheme is available to any organisation including community or voluntary groups and local authorities.

Claire Cunningham spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board said:

"Sustainability is all about balancing our requirements with that of the environment with a view to ensuring that future generations will be able to meet their needs adequately. The children who learn this through the woodland classroom will carry their awareness with them into the future and that can only be a step in the right direction."

Mr Martin Watson, Headmaster of Rendcomb College Junior School said:

"We are delighted to be able to develop a designated area of our beautiful school grounds specifically for the education and enjoyment of both our pupils and the members of the wider community. This will be a very special area that will enable Rendcomb College pupils as well as pupils from the wider community to access the curriculum in a hands-on practical way"

Jonathon Porritt (CBE) will go on to make a keynote speech as part of the school's Founders Day for parents and children.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Could members of the press who would like to attend, ring Rendcomb College first to let them know that you are coming.

Contact details for Rendcomb College:

Mrs Liese Holden or Mr Jeremy Grey. Tel: 01285 831213

Mobile Contact on 27th May 07771 988 412

Rendcomb College & Junior School, Nr Cirencester, Glos, GL7 7HA. holdenl@rendcomb.gloucs.sch.uk

For more information about SDF grants contact Anne Powell: 01451 862000.

For general press enquiries contact: Claire Cunningham on 01451 862003

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board - an independent organisation with 40 members, 17 nominated by local authorities, eight by parish councils and 15 appointed by Government.

Cotswolds Conservation Board The Old Police Station Cotswold Heritage Centre Northleach Gloucestershire GL54 3JH

Tel: 01451 862000 Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk