East Kent Colleges Group’s establishing College has soared at the Green School Awards, winning a top prize for its efforts to protect and highlight nature.
EKC Broadstairs College was named overall winner in the Nature Conservation category, with judges recognising the hard work and commitment invested in its Nurture forest school project.
Across the UK the age group with the least access to nature are those aged 16 to 25, a fact that inspired the creation of the Nurture scheme. Comprising a woodland workshop, a firepit, and a clearing in which a range of activities can take place.
Launching this year in what was an overgrown and disused area of the campus, Nurture was cleared by enthusiastic students and is now used to introduce students to the natural world as well as basic outdoor skills such as fire-lighting and wood chopping. The site enables the teaching of responsible fire-lighting, safe tool use, creating sustainable art, and making shelter and structures from natural materials.
Run by the KM Charity Team, Green School Awards are given to a number of schools and colleges each year to mark particularly focused efforts on promoting and enhancing sustainability. However, only six schools or colleges receive the overall award for each category, highlighting how impressed the judges were with the Nurture project.
EKC Broadstairs College’s Principal, Emily Johnson, said of the win: “We were absolutely taken aback when we found out we’d won the overall award. What started as a small seed of an idea has grown into a fantastic facility that will be enjoyed by hundreds of young people.
“As Principal of EKC Broadstairs College I am incredibly proud of the hard work that has gone into this area. Nurture wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the hard work of our staff team, and the overwhelming enthusiasm shown by students in managing the space. To be rewarded with a Green School Award shows the judges recognise the role of Nurture in allowing us to enhance the holistic education we offer at EKC Broadstairs College, and our ongoing journey to find sustainable solutions and develop our natural environment.”