Our new Education & Events coordinator
More South Hams schoolchildren and families will get to experience the special environment of The Sharpham Estate, now that there is a new Education and Events Coordinator at The Sharpham Trust.
Lisa Carnell will be encouraging Totnes and Torbay primary schools to visit the Estate and learn about its rich wildlife and habitats.
And as a biologist, botanist and trained teacher, she'll be sharing her own extensive science and environmental knowledge by leading some of the activities on the visits. Prior to this role, she was Education Ranger at the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust for 17 years, coordinating schools' visits.
"I love plants, wildflowers and trees and I did my degree in biology, so this role is perfect for me to be able to be spreading awareness of the natural world amongst young people," said Lisa. "I really like birds as well so it's great to be able to pass on some of my love of the local wildlife."
Her post has been funded for a year by the Ernest Cook Trust, a charity promoting learning from the land. In that year, Lisa will be putting on 10 nature days for local schools.
Walks from schools to Sharpham
At least half of the visits from Totnes schools will include a walk from the town to Totnes, through the Sharpham Estate: set along 3 miles of the River Dart in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
"It will be an exploration and a journey, as they walk from their school gates and end up somewhere very special and beautiful - and discover lots of interesting things along the way," she said.
As part of her work, Lisa will also be organising and adding to the programme of animal, insect and botanical events that happen all year round at The Trust. Look out for more nature trails and family walks, plus some complementary wildflower and tree events to sit alongside the Trust's existing birdwatching, foraging, wild food and wild medicine days.
"I want to encourage people to open their eyes to what is around them, because it's when you look closely that you discover more," she said. And being at Sharpham means she's in the right place to do that.
"The beauty and exquisite landscape here is also so rich in natural wildlife because there's such a variety of habitats on the Sharpham Estate - and that's what makes my heart sing," she said.
How to get involved
If you are interested in involving your school with The Sharpham Trust, you can contact Lisa Carnell on [email protected]