Following on from the real success of the Education Centre and outreach provision in Affinity Water’s Central region, it has been a real pleasure to have Karen Stanley joining the business to further expand our educational outreach in Folkestone and Dover region.
Several schools have already begun to take full advantage of the Education Services’ workshop days. The feedback from both staff and students has been overwhelmingly positive The number of schools wishing to book a water day with us is growing by the day and this is great news for water conservation education.
The activities on offer and their practical nature means that students are really engaged in learning – there is a significant focus on STEM which provides real opportunities for our Scientists and Engineers of the future!
The expansion of the education service in Folkestone and Dover has also led to the development of our existing community partnerships with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership (WCCP). By working together, we are now planning to offer the same high-quality water workshops at one of their bases, Samphire Hoe, in early 2019. Samphire Hoe is a fabulous coastal nature reserve nestled at the foot of the White Cliffs of Dover.
The development of our education outreach offering in the Folkestone and Dover region has also led to some exciting new activities for children and families during school holidays. Again, we have worked with WCCP to join up our water and conservation messages through ‘Green Gang’. The programme brought pop-up labs to the banks of the River Dour which flows through Dover and saw a large number of adults and their children come along to learn about their local chalk stream.
The children got the opportunity to study the wildlife in the river; from Mayfly and Shrimp to Bullheads, Sticklebacks and Minnows. This part of the river, at the end of Limes Road in Dover, is shallow enough for the children to wade right in with their nets, so it’s ideal for our enthusiastic naturalists!
The WCCP have run several initiatives along the river to encourage local people to not only become aware of its ecological importance but also to care for their environment by picking
up litter – several Affinity Water staff have also volunteered to help with river cleans, and their efforts have resulted in a real improvement in the river’s overall cleanliness.