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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.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Young Darwin Scholars

What would Darwin do today?

Great Crested Newt
Fifteen selected young people were awarded the first FSC Young Darwin Scholarships this summer. The first outcome was a course for all of them at FSC Preston Montford which encouraged them to consider what Darwin would do if he were alive and aged 16 or 17 today.

Chafer Beetle larva

The course began with a walk and a look around the FSC Preston Montford estate which was  followed by visits to Shrewsbury to see Darwin sites, down the leadmine at Snailbeach and up to the Stiperstones  via The Bog Visitor Centre. A day was spent canoeing along the Severn looking for invasive species as well as kingfishers and otters and another day working with a range of experts to identify as many species as possible on the FSC Preston Montford site.
On the river

Southern Hawker
There was badger watching and bat spotting and insect hunting and looking at the ponds and Bee Hotel along with many inspiring case studies from people working in the field of wildlife and conservation.

Southern Hawker
The scholars came from across the country and brought a huge range of expertise and enthusiasm with them. They were a pleasure to be with and everyone of the many people who contributed to the programme commented on this.

Thanks are due to a great list of people who contributed to the programme...Mike Morris, Jamie Drummond, Sue Townsend, Pete Boardman, Ian Cheeseborough, Bex Cartwright, Rebecca Farley-Brown, Dan Wrench,  Helen Trotman, Peter Sheldrake, Sue Redding and Louise Parker.

The Young Darwin Scholarship programme is a new venture for the FSC as we are trying to support Young People who are considering a future working in the natural environment at key points in their development. Individual support starts with this course but will continue over the next few years in a variety of different guises. There will be a similar course for the 2013 scholars next August. Monitor the FSC website for further details

Adrian Pickles and Sarah Anstis-Smith

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