Top Marks for New Nower Wood Education Centre!

Tuesday 26th September 2017

Under the video microscope at Nower WoodUnder the video microscope at Nower Wood

Surrey Wildlife Trust is top of the class this week after gaining a coveted award for its new outdoor education centre at Nower Wood.

The ‘Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge’ is like a gold star for outdoor learning and the Trust is delighted its work has been recognised.

“Being awarded the LOtC Quality Badge is a real coup for the Trust’s education team, as it shows that we offer young people high quality outdoor learning experiences they can really benefit from,” said Aimee Clarke, the Trust’s Director of Education. 

The Trust was awarded the LOtC Quality Badge for ‘high quality and creative’ teaching across all its outdoor learning programmes in Surrey. And the report stated that inspectors continue to use the Trust’s education team to benchmark all other providers in the sector.

“This is the ultimate accolade for us, to know that we are held up as the model against which all other providers in the outdoor education field are measured,” added Aimee.

“Inspectors said the children’s reactions to activities and games were ‘a joy to observe’ and we're so thrilled to get official recognition for our work. We can’t wait to welcome even more children and young people from Surrey to experience the wonders of the natural world!”

There was particular praise for the Trust’s new £1.1m Nower Wood centre, which was officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex in April. Nestled in the heart of 81 acres of ancient woodland near Leatherhead, the building houses three spacious heated classrooms. It can accommodate up to 90 students at any time of the year - including those with special educational needs and disabilities. 

The classrooms are equipped with the latest audio visual technology, including video microscopes. LOtC inspectors noted that the use of technology to collate fieldwork data with A-level students was ‘very impressive’.

Visitors can also take part in pond-dipping, minibeast hunts, wild play, campfire activities, mammal studies and environmental surveys. The centre also hosts a school holiday club, wild birthday parties and can be booked for community or corporate events.

Elaine Skates, Chief Executive of The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, said: “The LOtC Quality Badge reduces red tape and provides assurance for schools, ensuring that many more young people have memorable, exciting and valuable learning outside the classroom experiences. I congratulate Surrey Wildlife Trust on being awarded the LOtC Quality Badge.”

The Trust’s Aimee Clarke added: “We are so very proud of Nower Wood and our wonderful education team and we hope this award will encourage more people in the community to visit us. We know that contact with wildlife makes us happier and healthier. And if we can nurture a love and understanding of nature, future generations will be inspired to protect it and that is so very important.”

To find out more about all of the Trust’s outdoor learning opportunities and the new Nower Wood education centre here >>. More information about the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge can be found at

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