Bristol CC Outdoor Education Centre situated in the village of Parkend in The Forest of Dean

Thursday 7 March 2019

DFSC Winter Update

In truth we should be calling this the Spring Update as we have got there already and also had a very unseasonably warm Feb. This has been great for our groups who at the same time last year were battling snow. The only downside is its likely association with global warming - something that is affecting us all. We try to do our bit with regard to this and educating the young people who visit us about the importance of the environment.

We started the last Blog post with an historical note and have another for this time. A local historian has been in touch and informed us of part of the building's history that we were not familiar with. During the Second World War, as well as partial occupation by the American army, the Centre building was used to train some of the Womens Land Army

 Training was given to women 'aged between 18 to 40 of good physique'. A lot of the women trained at the Centre were put to work in the Nags Head area (which is now a Nature Reserve that many of our groups visit). Some were put to work alongside the 129th Company of the Royal Engineers who felled trees. They would be required to work up to 48 hours per week and were paid 32 shillings.

Winter is often a time when staff at the Centre do various training courses. As well as updating Health and Hygine L3; doing a Kitchen Managers Course; Manual Handling update; safeguarding training etc. Jane, our Cook-in-Charge, has also received fire extinguisher training alongside the rest of the staff team. She insists she has never burnt the food she cooks! But it is always best to be prepared. Below Jane demonstrates how to give your pizzas a little extra CO2!

In other news - we have been very busy over the winter refurbishing some of our bathroom areas with new showers and basins. The girls using the first floor and 'flat' will be particularly pleased with the upgraded facilities once they are completed. A teaser photo below and we will show this finished article in the next blog post.

Providing a warm welcome to our groups has always been a top priority for us. When we did have the cold weather we found that with lots of children coming in and out of the back door it could get cold and draughty. We've therefore now installed a new heater into the entrance lobby to warm it up as you enter the building.

We are always trying to look for new activities to extend the curriculum options we offer at the Centre. Recently we have developed and resourced a new activity of "Rockets". This draws on many S.T.E.M. areas introduced in a fun and exciting way. It is on offer to our groups as an hour + session alongside other activities or as an evening activity. The video below demonstrates the launch technique once groups have constructed their 'Eggscape Capsules'

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