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Ryan Walsh

Ryan Walsh is one of our new guest bloggers! He's the Head of Outdoor Work at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst. You can follow Ryan on Twitter here: @DunhurstODW

I love teaching and I love being outdoors. I spent the first 8 years of my career teaching in the classroom or on the sports field; so I had the best of both worlds. However, I always felt that there was so much more to learning outside than simply playing sport - so much more to experience and enjoy. The seasons, flora and fauna where we all live and work are incredibly diverse – far more than most of us appreciate. For example, if you have an Oak tree in your school grounds, it could be home to up to 284 different species of insect, which in turn supply food for many birds and mammals.

I teach in an independent prep school in rural Hampshire. The school’s motto is “Head, Hand Heart” and Outdoor Work (affectionately known as ODW) has been a core curriculum subject for over 100 years. Every class has a timetabled slot (70 minutes) every week, all year round, whatever the weather. The curriculum is split in to six areas; Nature & Conservation, Bushcraft Skills, Animal Husbandry, Country Crafts, Building & Construction, , and Horticulture. All children experience aspects of each theme throughout the year.

Like any school, we want our children to be healthy, happy, well rounded and confident individuals. We see Outdoor Work as a crucial part of this.

Read my blogs below!

Creating a mini-nature reserve - Step 2!

So you've created your mini-nature reserve - now what? Here's Ryan's guide to creating log piles and damp ditches in your reserve! 





Creating a mini-nature reserve 

Ryan gives a step-by-step guide to how they created a mini-nature reserve in their school - and shows that even the smallest area can become a wonderful area for wildlife.