The ‘Wild Escape’ project

28th March 2023

The Goodwood Education Trust is delighted to be partnering with the Pallant House Gallery and the South Downs National Park Authority to welcome 100 pupils from three local primary schools to explore the biodiversity of our natural world through the exhibition and workshops on location in the South Downs.

Part of the Pallant House Gallery’s contribution to the ‘Wild Escape’ project, it has been made possible by lead support from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants, with additional support from Art Fund and a group of generous individuals and trusts.

Anne Bartlett, Education Officer at the Goodwood Education Trust said, ‘The project is a series of three creative and environmental workshop days that aim to introduce students to, and deepen their understanding of the local natural environment and the species that inhabit it’. The primary schools taking part are Parklands Primary School in Chichester, Portfield Academy in Chichester and the Edward Bryant School in Bognor Regis. The first time is a morning at Pallant House Gallery exploring the characteristics of the local landscape, including heathland, through looking at the Gallery’s Sussex Landscape: Chalk, Wood and Water exhibition and taking part in a creative workshop with a local artist Laura Ribbons, with the afternoon at Iping Common, where the South Downs National Park Learning Team will introduce students to the Sussex heathland and how it has been shaped by human involvement and its animal habitats. The second workshop will again spend the morning at Pallant House Gallery exploring the biodiversity of animal and insect life to be found in the local countryside through a tour of their Birds and Beasts exhibition and taking part in a creative workshop with a local artist Laura Buckle. During the workshop the children will create miniature havens for wildlife from natural materials such as willow.  Anne continued, ‘In the afternoon the children will travel to our Education Centre, nestled in a 20-acre plantation on ancient woodland. Here, the students will go on a guided woodland walk to find evidence of animals and insects they learnt about, discovering which are at risk and what needs to be done to protect them. The children will have the opportunity to place and photograph the insect and animal havens they have created in a natural setting. These will symbolise ‘home’ and that the natural space we have here at Goodwood is a home for bugs, beasts and birds. The photographs taken will then form part of the exhibition at Pallant House. We’re keen to help them learn about the residents of the woodland who include deer, badgers and hares.

The final workshop will be a school-based workshop to develop an Earth Protection Pledge, a simple and realistic action plan of five things each school can commit to doing to promote environmental sustainability. The creative responses and Earth Protection Pledges made by the children will be unveiled during a free day of activities at the Gallery for all ages on Earth Day 2023 on 22 April. The Education Trust will be attending on along with the South Downs National Park Learning Team.

The Education Trust, based on the Goodwood Estate, is an independent educational charity promoting awareness and understanding of the environment to children and young people, established in 1976 by the 10th Duke of Richmond. Learn more about the Trust here