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What do you want to see at the new Nower Wood

Posted: Friday 18th September 2015 by OutdoorLearning

We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded Surrey Wildlife Trust £54,000 in development funding towards the Outdoor Woodland Learning in Surrey (OWLS) project, which is part of our work to replace our Nower Wood Education Centre.

Once the new building is open, the Trust plans to play a greater role in the local community

We can now move ahead and apply for a full HLF grant, which should be awarded as long as our plans are judged to have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal.

Once the new building is open, the Trust plans to play a greater role in the local community. Seasonal lectures will cover all aspects of ecology and conservation, and we will launch a drive to encourage more volunteers. We aim to engage young people by offering accredited training schemes and internships to help with their employment prospects and personal development.

But, these are just our ideas. We need to know what our existing visitors and potential new visitors would like to see us offer in the brand new Nower Wood Education Centre. We have therefore started a process of consultations with key groups to find out what they think.

We were delighted to welcome 27 of the Nower Wood volunteers to a drop in session on Wednesday 2nd September, so that they could see the plans for the new centre in detail, and speak to those leading the project. We loved hearing their stories about their time at Nower Wood, and what they have gained from helping with the education programme or hands on maintenance work. It became clear that the reserve has a special place in their hearts, and we were pleased to receive their input on the building plans and what they would like to see in it. It is important to us that the building works on a practical basis and fulfils everyone’s needs, and addresses the issues that are lacking in the current building, so their feedback will prove invaluable. 

In addition, on 9th September, we held a consultation session with the Nower Wood staff members so that we could gain their insight into what it was like to work in the existing buildings on a day to day basis. We want to ensure that the new facility seeks to rectify any current issues that may hinder them. They were a lively bunch and gave us some wonderful ideas about adaptions to the plans that should make a real difference not just to them, but to those that attend for sessions at the centre.

All suggestions about what new activities we should run in the new Education Centre are very welcome. If you would like to submit any ideas, please email me Aimee Clarke (Director of Education and People & Wildlife), at

We are raising funds to rebuild Nower Wood Education Centre
If you are interested in holding a fundraising event making a donation or to find out more about the project, please visit our Nower Wood New Build page

Aimee Clarke

SWT Director of Education and People & Wildlife

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