About Me

My photo
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, United Kingdom
FSC Preston Montford has been an outdoor classroom since 1957 and is a Field Studies Council centre. We deliver curriculum related outdoor education by the experts; from pre-school to Masters level; for infants, school students, undergraduates and enquiring adults with an interest in the natural world. Courses for schools and individuals. A venue for others to use; with bed space for 130, catering facilities and 7 fully equipped teaching and meeting spaces.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Butterfly training has an effect

As part of a long term plan to enhance our capability in Natural History members of the Education team have attended training organised by Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Shropshire County Council.

Senior Tutor; Sarah Anstis-Smith, Education Assistant; Edd Sopp and Head of Centre; Adrian Pickles attended a Butterfly training day lead by Simon Spencer focusing on the Pearl Bordered Fritillary. The day began with insightful talk on habitats, feeding and management issues at the Wildlife Trust Headquarters in Shrewsbury. After lunch the group relocated to Middletown on the English-Welsh borders where we followed Dr Spencer spotting Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Orange Tip, Green Hair Streaks and several other species making the most of the spring sunshine. There were many spring flowers in bloom as well.

Adrian Pickles

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More Shed News!

We get very excited about sheds here at Preston Montford as Adrian has mentioned previously...... 

"Sheds matter; they are the unsung heroes of additional storage capacity"

In order to meet the equipment needs of over 120 students doing fieldwork we need a lot of fieldwork equipment, and that means storage!

The shed is eased into position by Pete.
The bulk of our fieldwork equipment is split between one shed, three small bunkers, with more precious items stored inside in the warm and dry, and final shed (see, we like our sheds!) providing a home for all team building equipment.

Until recently these sheds occupied an area in the heart of the centre, between the Darwin and Wenlock buildings. However, plans to make better use of our yard area and improve public space led to them moving.......

......Now moving a 10' x 6' shed is not an easy business! Unless you have the help of your friendly neighboring farmer.

After some standing..... some looking at the shed...... a little bit of sucking air through our teeth..... and a cup of tea, a plan was hatched and Pete Roberts of Preston Montford Farm was called. 

The shed and bunkers in their new locations.
Getting the shed to a point where Pete could get it up on his lifting forks was a cross departmental operation with members of the Education, House, Maintenance teams, and even Adrian lending a hand.

It was then a case of standing back and watching as Pete raised it gracefully from the ground and delivered it to it's new home.

We are currently deciding what to use our new found space for..... watch this space!

Watch this space...........


Friday, May 4, 2012

Bee Hotel open for buzz-i-ness

Lonely insects near FSC Preston Montford  have a new place to hang out. The Bee Hotel shown in the photographs has been built to provide habitats for solitary bees who don't get together in large swarms. The hotel is situated in the grounds of the field centre but needs some more internal work to finish it off completely

 Eventually the hotel will be full of small individual units for bee accommodation. These will be made from the hollow stems from plants and we need some assistance to make more of these-please contact the field centre if you would like to help. We are trying to avoid an over-booking situation with too many bees and not enough room.
The project was developed by Tim Graham and Pete Boardman through the FSC's lottery funded "Invertebrate Challenge" which works to promote the understanding and identification of invertebrates in Shropshire and across the whole country

Adrian Pickles