The Greenlanes Centre at Allaleigh near Totnes launches an ambitious new project with local secondary school students this spring, teaching teamwork, woodwork, applied geometry, maths and physics in a hands-on build of a nine-meter wooden roundhouse.
From April the Greenlanes Centre will be working with students from King Edward the Sixth College (KEVIC) from Totnes to build a nine metre wooden roundhouse with a reciprocal roof (see picture below) from the ground up. There is also planning permission for a log cabin and The Greenlanes Centre is actively looking for another school who would be interested in partaking in this project. Once established, groups will return to build temporary structures each term to ensure this learning opportunity continues for all parties, the students will have a unique opportunity to have real input into the build of an education centre they can call their own.
Project director George Belsey highlights reconnecting children with the natural world as the centres main goal: “ These projects from The Greenlanes Centre meet the problem of children not interacting with nature head on, the centre offers students the chance to develop vital life skills such as team work, cognitive skills, the application of woodwork, maths, and physics in a work environment as well as interacting with the natural environment around them without the distractions of modern life. My dream is to inspire not only the younger generation to engage with nature, but to inspire them to explore the natural world at their doorstep and as far as their reach will take them.”
The Greenlanes Centre is currently crowdfunding( http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/outdoor-learning-through-green-wood-construction/) for materials and a vehicle which will set a solid foundation for the social enterprise to maintain a sustainable relationship with the local community and school groups.
The education Centre was established in the 1980’s and has recently been reinvigorated by George Belsey and his family. A number of events involving local children have been run in recent years including the building of prototype roundhouse and a pizza oven set on a cob wall built with clay and straw from the land (see pictures Below).
Once established, The Greenlanes Centre will run all year round offering courses to schools and community groups each term. Courses will teach the building of temporary structures, improving the infrastructure of the site, such as building a water wheel to provide onsite electric and a small bridge to get over the stream. One off day courses ranging from bushcraft and survival skills to guided walks on local wildlife will also be on offer.
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