As part of its education and awareness remit, the team of staff at Glenveagh National Park in Donegal have resumed the popular summer teachers course ‘Learning Through The Landscape’, which has welcomed 20 participants from all over the country.

The purpose of the week long course, which started back in 2015, is to help teachers learn more about nature and to be inspired to bring more outdoor learning into their practice. “The success of nature conservation work begins with winning the hearts and minds of people – and there’s no better place to start than schools and teachers”, explains Clare Bromley, Head of Education and Learning at Glenveagh.

The course takes the teachers on a hands on learning journey through a range of habitats and showcases how strands in the curriculum can be made more accessible, interactive and engaging for children when taken outside the classroom. Subjects covered include science, maths, geography, art, history and ICT. Its goal is to use the backdrop of the National Park and surrounding Nature Reserves as inspiration for teachers to learn more about Irish Biodiversity. The course is accredited and approved by the Department of Education & Skills as part of its overall CPD programme for teachers each summer and is run in partnership with Donegal Education Centre.

Enjoying the stunning weather this week, the group, led by the team of Education Guides, have explored the importance of woodlands, peatlands and freshwater habitats and the species found in each.  This supports teachers to acquire new knowledge and skills that they can take back to their schools in the year ahead.

Each year Glenveagh works with thousands of school and college students from across the North West, but this popular event remains the highlight of the year, with many teachers keen to share that it is one of the best courses and experiences they have attended.

The participants have had the chance to meet with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Conservation Rangers and also to hear from staff from Inland Fisheries Ireland staff. The course exemplifies the value of strategic partnership working between Departments for the common goal of protecting and raising awareness of nature.

It is hoped that the course will be adapted to run on successive weeks from Summer 2023, given the interest and demand for places.

For more information on the education programme and services in Glenveagh, contact [email protected]