THE COVID-19 VIRUS
A Statement from the Chair of FoBEC
Following emergency discussions with our Environmental Education Manager, Caroline Gellor, and with Trustees, we have cancelled all school bookings from last week until Easter and if schools now remain closed after that, there will be no visits until further notice. All planned events at the Environment Centre and Nature Reserve have also been cancelled until the end of May. The Centre and Nature Reserve will remain closed for the foreseeable future, including for volunteer work parties, until the current Coronavirus outbreak clears and visits to the site are considered to be safe. Thank you for your continuing support and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Barnet Environment Centre and Nature Reserve as soon as it is safe for us to re-open. We will post updates on this site and on our Facebook page as the situation becomes clearer. In the meantime, I hope you keep well. Stay safe.
Barnet Environment Centre is situated on a 7.5 acre nature reserve which is a “Site of Interest for Nature Conservation”. The Friends of Barnet Environment Centre is a registered charity which provides events for the local community and activities for schools in order to educate and inspire a lasting interest in and appreciation of the natural world. We maintain the reserve through regular volunteer work-parties and, in addition to educating schoolchildren, organise open days, children’s activities and youth projects.The nature reserve and Environment Centre are only open to the public for these events. Our schools newsletter Autumn 2019 and the Chair’s December 2019 Newsletter are all available. Our Chair has written the Trustees’ Annual Report 2018-19 to sum up what has been another marvellous year for FoBEC and has written his February 2020 update on how we are intending to improve the engagement and accessibility of the nature reserve.
Educational Year 2018-2019:
It’s been an incredible year with many wonderful wildlife encounters and an amazing 1980 children aged 3 to 18 visiting our beautiful nature reserve. These visits were supported by 385 teachers and parents who helped to make the visits run smoothly. All our programmes are curriculum linked and provide children with the opportunity to learn about and connect with nature and discover the joy of the natural world. Our sessions for youth groups have extended to include Beavers, Cubs, Rainbows, Brownies, Woodcraft Folk and now, Air Scouts. Youth groups enjoy a range of activities including autumn arts and craft, pond dipping and minibeasting, star gazing and night walks, and, new for this year, bat walks. We are so happy to be able to share our nature reserve and its amazing wildlife with so many children. We hope they continue to engage with nature once they leave us and grow up with a sense of ownership of the environment and a desire to protect it. More …
Please visit our School or Youth pages.
Open Days 2019
Open days are for the local community to visit the Centre, explore the nature reserve and learn a bit about our flora and fauna. The first of these was in June to coincide with the Barnet Medieval Festival and 125 visitors explored the nature reserve on their way to or from the Festival. Three other open days focused on craft activities and guided walks. The July theme was on “bees”, the September on “birds” and the October on “night-time creatures”. At each event there were many appreciative comments. For example: “The event of Friday afternoon was heaving and fabulous. Annie and I had a great time – what an amazing place – wonderful volunteers – exciting space to explore – we loved it – and great flapjacks!!!” More …
2019 Drop-in visits – all welcome
In response to requests from our local community, this summer of 2019, we were open to the public during the periods when volunteers were on site working in the nature reserve. These visits were envisaged as opportunities for local people to come along and self-guide through the nature reserve. There were no organised activities, but refreshments were available.
Make a Difference Day October 2019
A very windy and wet start to the day, and volunteers discovered that yet another mature willow had collapsed over the perimeter path near the seasonal pond. With hand tools alone, our undaunted team rose to the challenge and reduced this 20ft (6.5m) length of trunk and its branches to manageable sections. The catering team provided a hearty lunch – the very least we can do for such hard workers. Thanks to the 17 volunteers involved on the day – a remarkable day’s achievement with good food, good humour and brilliant teamwork.
The nature reserve site and Environment Centre are owned by Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. More …