Ecology

Ecology Centre

The new Ecology Centre

The new Ecology Centre in Holland Park is now open in our new location in the woods by the adventure playground.

The building’s striking and sustainable wood-clad exterior echoes its woodland surroundings and features a rammed earth wall. Internally, our new centre is a light, airy space with big picture windows. The large classroom space is decorated with stuffed animals and woodland murals. The new reception area has information displays and is a new home for our collection of live animals.

The building represents a wonderful opportunity for the established Ecology Service to build and extend its outdoor education programme. The incorporation of an interactive whiteboard and other modern technology into our sessions will help enhance the learning experiences of the students. We also now have an outdoor classroom area next to the centre for classes to explore and learn in.

We offer a range of high quality curriculum linked sessions on a host of topics from habitats to natural art. We have revamped and developed our environmental education workshops for nursery groups to A-level groups. Please refer to our visits for schools page for our full programme and teaching resources.

On a practical note, visiting groups will have areas to store their bags as well as their own toilets and hand washing facilities.  There are external toilets for playground users and a new office for the ecology staff. 

We will continue to run our busy holiday activities programme for five to 12 year olds. Parents can book their children onto a variety of sessions in the school holidays on subjects such as minibeasts, snakes and lizards, shelter building, pond dipping, and peacocks. The centre will also be a new base for our popular adult events programme. Events for 2014 will include talks and walks on a variety of topics such as hedgehogs, bees, wildlife gardening, urban botany, earthworms and fungi.

Interested parties will also be able to hire out the centre for private functions, corporate events and children’s birthday parties. The new centre is fully wheel chair accessible. When the centre is not being used for teaching or events we will be open Monday-Friday 3-5pm for the general public to enjoy the centre. We will also be opening up the Ecology Centre for drop-in on the first and third Saturday of each month from 5 April until the end of September (Please note that due to Easter we will be open on the first and second Saturdays of April instead). During the Saturday drop-ins you will be free to have a look around the centre, read one of our nature books, draw a stuffed animal, carry out some other activities and pick up a trail map or similar to explore the park. So if you are in the area please feel free to visit.

Environmental visits for schools

The centre is a key resource for local schools and youth groups to study the natural environment. Field study trips and taught workshops are offered throughout the year, based on the varied habitats of the Holland Park wildlife area.

Holiday Activities for Children

The Ecology Centre runs a scheme of outdoor and creative activities for five to ten year olds in the half term holiday. Outdoor activities are based in our wooded wildlife area. Each session lasts for two hours and past activities have included shelter building, orienteering and animal themed art and crafts. Booking is essential.

 

Volunteering

The Ecology Service offers the opportunity to get involved in helping us carry out practical work in Holland Park improving local biodiversity.  Hundreds of hours of volunteer work have been given to improve our wildlife areas.

We are currently working with Groundwork London running Taskforce 4 Nature days every third Saturday of the month at Holland Park. The improvements made link in with the priorities identified in the Local Biodiversity Action Plan. The group carries out a wide range of tasks from meadow cutting, building dead-hedges, pond maintenance, building stag beetle loggeries, woodland management and more!

If you are looking to try something new, gain new skills, meet new people or just get your hands dirty then why not join Holland Park Conservation Volunteers on a Taskforce 4 Nature day.

View the current Taskforce 4 Nature day details [PDF] (file size 1.47Mb)

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