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Supporting the Education Service at Dyfi NNR - 2011 PDF Print

Dates: April 2011 - July 2011

Location: Dyfi National Nature Reserve, Ceredigion

Client Group: Countryside Council for Wales

The partnership of Coetiroedd Dyfi Woodlands and the Centre for Alternative Technology won the tender to develop and deliver a training and mentoring package to support the Countryside Council for Wales' Education Service at Dyfi National Nature Reserve. This contract built on previous work carried out in developing resources and delivering training at the site by the Field Studies Council.Dyfi NNR2011

The project was thoroughly enjoyed by project partners and wardens. The wardens particularly valued the training they received that allowed them to develop skills and confidence to engage with educational groups, and give them a deeper insight into education issues. The rapport that developed between project leaders and wardens over the two days was fundamental to adding value to the whole project.

The project partners enjoyed the opportunity to work together to plan and deliver the training. This brought the strengths and expertise of two organisations together to build a strong working partnership with a breadth of skills and experience which covered a wider area than would have been possible from one organisation.


Two days training was enough time to deliver the remit of the project as it stood this year.

Delivery of the sessions was again enjoyable and beneficial. Several teachers who visit frequently commented that the sessions were much improved on previous years. The wardens were happy to take on responsibility gradually, usually taking on several of the activities within the programme. Towards the end of term, some of the wardens were demonstrating strong educational skills.

The mentoring during the sessions was an effective way of providing support for the wardens according to their levels of confidence. Those of them with a real appetite for education were keen to take on larger areas of responsibility and really developed confidence and ability over the course of the project.

The project leaders felt that overall the training and mentoring service was a mutually beneficial one for leaders and wardens alike, and this definitely improved the quality of the education service to visiting schools.

The education activities for the sand dunes had been written by different people at different times for different key stages. It was recommended that these be reviewed and amended as part of a consistent whole. The project leaders felt that although there were some good activities in the KS3 resources that need to be retained, as a whole the KS2 activities were stronger. It was recommended that all the activities (KS1-3) are brought together and reviewed with ideas for differentiation for different age groups.

All education materials would benefit from being delivered in the context of ESDGC which would allow the local environmental education expertise be delivered in the context of the global dimension.

On the whole, the education services have great potential, with the expertise and skills of the NNR staff. Learners benefit from expert guidance to sites of such important biodiversity, and by learning how the sites relate to the learners themselves and the wider world. The project leaders believe that every effort should be made to encourage educational visits to both sites.

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