Dorothy Stringer Environmental Partnership and Big Nature
In 2000 DSEP began when a small group of us got together to conserve the woodland on our campus and because we started talking to a range of interested parties beyond the school community, we decided to call ourselves the Dorothy Stringer Woodland Partnership. However, it soon became clear that the areas of our interest were expanding and so the school and broader community formed the Dorothy Stringer Environmental Partnership (DSEP).The DSEP acted as an umbrella organisation that represented and coordinated the activities of the Eco-School Committee (ESC) and the Environment and Ecology Club (EEC) and it dealt with local and national organizations (e.g. the Sussex Wildlife Trust, South Downs National Park, Brighton and Lewes Downs UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, National Trust).We held regular woodland working days where students, parents, staff and members of the wider community help manage our school woodland, identify species, share ideas and enjoy the outdoors. These continue today, check the Events Diary to find out when the next one is on.Over time, this group changed and developed, people moved on and priorities changed. With the development of a programme of activities for the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010, the formation of Big Nature came about - the full story can be found at www.bignature.co.ukThe ESC is composed of students, teachers, governors and caretaking staff and is primarily responsible for the discussion and decision making process concerning the schools different environmental projects. The EEC encourages enthusiasm and an interest in Natural History, Ecological and Environmental issues amongst the students. It is through this group that the majority of practical work is done, e.g. fund raising, recycling, woodland management and research activities. Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead WoodsWe have a long history with our local 'Friends of' group. Regular exhibitors at the Summer Environmental Fayre (2005-2015) and more recently the Open House Spring Festival, FHBW has also held its AGM in the Brian Foster Environment Centre for over 10 years. In that time we have had talks from a wide range of guest speakers these include:Tony Hutson, a committee member of the Sussex Bat Group, shared his knowledge of bats - in particular his work surveying bats in the old Hollingbury golf club house.Heather McNiven, a local bee-keeper and tuition co-ordinator for the Brighton & Lewes Bee Keeping Division, plus Swarm Co-ordinator for the Sussex area spoke about bees in your garden.Dr Chris Sandom, Sussex University spoke about Re-wilding explaining what it is and why we need it.