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

Monday 9 May 2011

DFSC Neighbours Open Day

 Yesterday we had an Open Day for our neighbours in Parkend. We had put invites into the letter boxes of over 165 houses in the village and had about 50 people come and take part. We started with an introduction and talk about what we do and then split into two groups to do a tour of the Centre Grounds and to discuss possible ideas for community use of our proposed classroom redevelopment (more about this in future Blog Posts)

 After that people were then keen to have a go at some of the activities for themselves. We had a keen queue for the Zip wire with children from aged 4 through to adults and a wheelchair user all going down.

 We use a slightly different system for wheelchair users whereby they are winched onto the zip wire and then pulled back up into the tree for lauch. Our wheelchair using zip wire enthusiast enjoyed himself so much he had 5 goes!

There was plenty for all to see while waiting a turn or even if they didn't participate themselves. Activities such as the Leap of Faith (Trapeze Jump) make great spectator sport. We were particularly impressed by one plucky 5 year old local girl who as well as reaching the top of the climbing tower was also our youngest ever participant to make it on to the Leap of Faith Platform and jump for the Trapeze Bar!

 We charged a nominal £1 a go and through this raised £33 for Parkend Primary School in the village to put towards buying something for their play equipment.

 As well as 'adventure activities' we also had children stream and pond dipping and looking at their catch under microscopes in the Lab. There was also a fair bit of interest in viewing the live camera feed from one of our nestboxes where a blue tit is presently sitting on 10 eggs. 

 We'll keep you posted how things develop with our blue tit family and how many chicks are raised.

All in all a very sucessful day and one that was hopefully very much enjoyed by our guests, some of whom although living in the village all their lives hadn't really realised what we do.

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