A learning curve for children at the coast

CONNORS BRIGHTON 01273 486851'PICTURE BY NIGEL BOWLES'South East Water'Michelle Doyle-Wildman joins staff and pupils from West Rise Junior School Eastbourne for a day at Sussex Wildlife Cuckmere Haven. Ronnie Reed from Sussex Wildlife was on hand for the day teaching them about the site and costal erosion. SUS-140926-151909001

CONNORS BRIGHTON 01273 486851'PICTURE BY NIGEL BOWLES'South East Water'Michelle Doyle-Wildman joins staff and pupils from West Rise Junior School Eastbourne for a day at Sussex Wildlife Cuckmere Haven. Ronnie Reed from Sussex Wildlife was on hand for the day teaching them about the site and costal erosion. SUS-140926-151909001

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A group of children from a junior school in Eastbourne were treated to an educational activity day at Seven Sisters Country Park on Tuesday September 23.

The day was hosted by the Sussex Wildlife Trust and funded by a donation from South East Water’s Community Chest initiative. The funding enabled 60 children from West Rise Junior School to enjoy the charity’s Down to the Coast and Back tour.

The seven and eight-year-olds discovered how chalk and beaches are formed while enjoying activities such as scavenger hunts, pebble sorting and stone rubbing. A picnic lunch on the beach followed the opportunity to walk down the Cuckmere valley and along the coast.

Ronnie Reed, Sussex Wildlife Trust people and wildlife officer based at Seven Sisters Country Park said, “When we teach children about the natural world there is no substitute for ‘close encounters of the real kind’ involving lots of hands-on learning.

“South East Water have provided a superb opportunity for these children to step out of their classroom to learn about their subject at first hand – and this experience will stay with them for a long time as something special.”

Michelle Doyle Wildman, external affairs manager at South East Water, accompanied the children on their day out.

She said, “We are delighted to have been able to give children from West Rise Junior School the opportunity to get some hands on experience outside the classroom in the beautiful Seven Sisters Country Park.

“It’s been a wonderful day – very well organised and extremely interesting. The Sussex Wildlife Trust guides are very knowledgeable and are dedicated to teaching and inspiring people of all ages to appreciate the environment.

We’ve all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and learnt so much about this stunning stretch of coastline.”

Two Year 3 teachers, Emily de Mattos and Helen Pentecost from West Rise Junior School, attended the trip.

Helen said, “We had a wonderful day at the Seven Sisters Country Park and we are extremely grateful to both organisations for making it possible.

“We are sure it is a trip the children will not forget.”

South East Water’s Community Chest Fund is open for applications from local community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations for donations of anything from a few pounds up to £2,500.

The fund closes at midnight on October 31 with winners to be announced on November 18.

For more information, to view the criteria in full and to fill out the application form, please visit www.southeastwater.co.uk/communitychest