Poltesco: 25 years of environmental education with the National Trust.
A couple of weeks ago I had a chance encounter with a young lady who enthusiastically reminded me of the ‘Wild Wednesday’ workshops she attended as a young girl at Poltesco almost 15 years ago. These children’s workshops, started in 2001 during the summer holidays, were a means of engaging children in nature and art around the Poltesco valley. Today she works at St Michaels Mount undertaking similar work, engaging with young people through story-telling and events. Perhaps her attendance at the Wild Wednesdays sparked a future interest and career in environmental education?
|Wild Wednesday 2003|
|Christmas Workshop 2006|
This chance meeting got me thinking about the variety of children's activities delivered at Poltesco over the years for generations of young people.....
In 1992 the National Trust hosted the first Earth Walk Festival at Poltesco. This legendary event involved more than 100 children learning everything from circus skills, drumming and wood carving. The primal and hypnotic drumming of ‘Thelemic Pulse’ resounding up the valley remains etched into the memories of those lucky to have attended whilst a more physical reminder of this seminal event is the small wooden totem pole in the picnic area. This was created, with the help of local wood carver Peter Boex, by the children of the Earth walk
|1992 Earth Walk Festival; anyone you recognise?|
For a number of years, the Trust hosted the annual ‘Poltesco Memories’ visits. For a whole week, we hosted each primary school on the Lizard, over 300 children each week, to learn about the local history of milling, serpentine working, fishing and farming in the valley through role play, story-telling and dressing up.
Over the years, pretty much every Lizard child has had the opportunity to visit Poltesco on numerous school visits, Christmas and Halloween workshops, bushcraft clubs, forest schools, camping trips and of course the truly magical Grade Ruan School plays.
|Grade Ruan School Play 2010?|
The tradition continues today. Claire Scott, the Wild Lizard Education Ranger, is employed through the Linking the Lizard Partnership to deliver education and events, not just at Poltesco, but across the whole Lizard including Kennack Sands, Windmill Farm, Bochym, Predannack and the Helford River.
If anyone has any photos or memories from these past events, please share them with us. It would be great to hear from you.