Some of my WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) students from Warrington Day Centre out and about on the Environmental Awareness Course I run – Ecotherapy in action!
Besides the obvious health benefits from the walks, the students are asked to identify birds, wildflowers, insects, trees and alien species, i.e. species introduced into the UK and describe in some cases the ecology in simple terms of some of these species. We talk about other interesting tit bits, like wild foods, ecology, history, geography and even a little culture as on this walk. About 6 miles, this walk involved spotting/listening to wildlife and included a visit to the birthplace of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson aka, Lewis Carroll, near Daresbury, Cheshire.
By integrating nature into an educational experience, the aims of this particular course are :
To develop and broaden students outlook on the wider environment around them;
To develop an awareness of their immediate surroundings;
To assist in integrating students with the world outside of their normal routines and daily lives;
To show, identify and explain the different aspects of nature that we can look at, observe, smell, taste, feel, hear and explore;
To give students the opportunity to visit places of interest away from the day centre, feeling at ease, relaxed and in a stress free environment, whilst developing a relaxing and supportive educational experience.