Celebrating 6000th Environmental Education Visit   March 18, 2022

Today we celebrated 6,000 school children taking part in environment education visits.

Children from St Catherine of Siena School visited Martineau Gardens, on a trip funded by a Hugh Kenrick Days Bursary.

The bursary scheme has funded more than 6,000 West Midlands children’s visits to environmental centres like Martineau Gardens and is managed by the National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE).

Nina Hatch NAEE Executive Director said she was delighted to be celebrating the 6000th pupil taking part in a bursary funded visit.

“Hugh Kenrick was a passionate advocate for birds and wildlife and his legacy has helped thousands of children enjoy learning in the great outdoors,” she said.

“Connecting with nature is a vital part of every child’s education, encouraging them to explore wildlife and plants in a way that they often don’t do in their day-to-day life.

“We are really delighted to celebrate at Martineau Gardens, which along with Birmingham Botanical Gardens, RSPB Sandwell Valley and Mount Pleasant School Farm play host to the bursary trips.

“We’d like to thank the Lord Mayor for joining us and the Year 3 children from St Catherine of Sienna as well as John Kenrick, Hugh’s son, who will be joining us on the day.”

The bursary was set up by Hugh’s wife Anne, who was equally passionate about the impact of environmental education, as a legacy in memory of her husband.

“It is a great achievement by teachers and the organisers of Kenrick Days that to date 6000 pupils have had the opportunity to learn outside the classroom,” said John.

“I’m sure both my parents would have been delighted at the impact of their legacy.

“This is vital environmental education, and we need to ensure more children can benefit.”

Martineau Gardens Environmental Education Teacher Juliette Green said: “These trips are a wonderful way of bringing children into new environments and encouraging them to take part in all kinds of activities, from pond dipping to plant identification.

“The natural environment links with every aspect of the school curriculum, from science and geography to art and literacy and helps children expand their horizons beyond the classroom.”

As part of the celebrations, the NAEE will be handing out 1,000 packets of sunflower seeds to children who attend visits at Martineau Gardens this year.

Any school in the West Midlands can apply for the Hugh Kenrick Bursary via https://naee.org.uk/apply-for-a-school-bursary/