High Weald
making windmillsConstructing windmills, generating electricity through pedal power and learning about the journey of a wood chip were just some of the activities undertaken by children from four High Weald primary schools as part of exploring local sustainable energy sources.

Almost 100 children from Sussex primary schools - Danehill, Nutley, Buxted and St Michael's Withyham - enthusiastically engaged in a whole day of energy-themed activities at Ashdown Forest on 21 October 2010. The children learnt about many different types of energy and how they can be sourced from their unique local environment - the High Weald. They explored past energy sources such as fire-making techniques, present uses such as woodfuel and looked at future options such as solar thermal.

A great many teaching resources have been developed for primary school teachers about energy and its link to the High Weald landscape. They are free to download from the Learning Zone.

GBMPandfriends221pxby300pxGreg Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change and Patron of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, stated his support for the event, “Events like the Ashdown Forest Energy Day are excellent opportunities for children to experience a more powerful learning experience; out of the classroom; engaging with their local landscape. 

If we are to create a vibrant, sustainable rural economy in the High Weald AONB, it is vital the next generation grows up knowing that they have choices in how to produce and conserve their energy and that those choices may be driven by, and could sustain, the skills and resources specific to their local community.”

The day was organised as part of the High Weald Heroes primary school education programme with help from The Skinners' School, Ashdown Forest Conservators, ESCC Rethink Rubbish Bus, ESAMP and the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

TWFR-logohe project is being funded by the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership Scheme with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the High Weald Joint Advisory Committee's Sustainable Development Fund.