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Opportunities to spend time outdoors are out of reach for some children meaning they miss out on the benefits of getting outdoors and meeting new people. The Five Ways to Wellbeing, nationally recognised by the NHS and mental health charities, highlight the huge benefits of i) connecting to others ii) learning new things iii) being active iv) giving a contribution v) taking notice of small things (mindfulness). Our outdoor learning programmes champion all these things.
We aim to give young people the opportunity to discover the stories of the landscape, explore nature, and engage with a different type of community. Outdoor learning offers opportunities to develop confidence being in the outdoors, learn new ways to sense surroundings, and experience new perspectives on the world.
In addition, our programmes are a ‘touch point’ with this place we all share – Morecambe Bay. We feel it is vital to create opportunities for meaningful connection between children and Morecambe Bay so more of our younger generations grow up feeling proud of the Bay and wanting to care for its future. Through this approach, we believe the people, nature and heritage of Morecambe Bay can thrive together.
Recently we created and delivered a multi-day package of activity for schools. This included workshops with our Archaeology, Heritage & Outdoor Learning Officer, a fully funded visit to Cockersand Abbey in Thurnham and Patty’s Barn in Cockerham and a classroom-based creative workshop with storyteller and poet Steve Fairclough.
Our learning package encouraged children to think about how life in Morecambe Bay has changed over time, and how humans rely on natural resources to survive. Children took part in bespoke activities, led by professionals, which invited them to explore the landscape in unusual ways such as through photography and storytelling. Students also had the opportunity to learn about food and farming, tasting local foods from Morecambe Bay and talking to a farmer from the Cockerham community. All the activities encouraged students to discover the coastline, the spectacular view, the wildlife, and the unique heritage of Morecambe Bay. The feedback from the sessions speaks for itself.
Feedback from the children on their learning experience and Morecambe Bay:
“I love this place! I want to come back here.”
“I loved this trip!"
“Brilliant time at Cockersands Abbey!
“Wow, this is amazing"
Feedback from school staff:
“Thank you so much for providing our children with this amazing opportunity.”
Class Teacher, Torrisholme Primary
“It’s great you are doing this, because the children don’t get to spend time outdoors usually”
Class Helper, Great Wood Primary School
In 2023, we worked with 4 schools delivering our bespoke package of outdoor learning workshops to 240 children. There is huge appetite from schools who would like us to work with them but funds are sparse. We want to thank The Areti Charitable Trust and Ernest Cook Foundation for making these valuable outdoor learning experiences possible through their generous funding and support. If you would like to support outdoor learning and children's education in Morecambe Bay please consider making a one off or regular donation.