Giant Outdoor Classroom
We are one giant outdoor classroom…a 35 hectare Island, encompassing habitats from rocky shores to elder woodland and maritime grassland. Education activities explore this environment, encouraging children and adults to observe their natural surroundings. Activities even incorporate the organic vegetable garden, where raised beds overflowing with leafy ‘greens’ burst from the soil and surround the duck pond. It is a perfect location to talk about sustainable living.
Moreover, our remote location on the Severn Estuary allows our education programme to target areas such as renewable energy, water, transport and waste. Supporting activities and resources provide children the opportunity to study their own lifestyles and consider ways to improve them, but furthermore it encourages the use of personal creativity and to think about global issues and future conservation.
Flat Holm offers a range of national curriculum based education activities for Key Stage 2 – Key Stage 4. In addition we provide A/AS Level field courses in Environmental and Marine Science, Geography and Biology. We also collaborate with universities and local community groups adapting material to suit group needs.
Flat Holm is the most southerly point in Wales and is easily reached by boat from Cardiff on the world renowned vessel: “The Lewis Alexander”. We cater for everyone; providing day trip visits (including children birthday parties) or a full education programme for groups staying on the Island from a few days to one week. The current 16th Century farmhouse, once a popular hotel and pub, can accommodate up to 24 people and additional space is also available in some of our other buildings. The farmhouse contains full catering facilities, with electric generated from the Island wind turbine and solar panels. Central heating is provided from the biomass boiler, which visitors can help keep stoked by collecting driftwood from the beach!
Being an Island we have an affinity with the marine environment, and we are currently running a Marine Awareness Programme “Life at the Coast” across schools in Cardiff to promote coastal/offshore habitats and the animals living there. We still no very little about our oceans, and have only scratched the surface in terms of exploration. And with half of the UK’s total biodiversity found in the seas it seems somewhat necessary that we should continue to raise awareness of our coasts and seas and ensure its protection for future generations. Education activites on the Island allow children to explore the rocky shore, tide pools and reefs! We carry out regular beach cleans and take part in the annual Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch, collecting and recording rubbish from shoreline of the Island.
If you are interested in bringing a group over to the Island or just want to find out more about the education we offer then please get in touch. Contact details can be found on http://www.flatholmisland.com. Look forward to hearing from you.