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Top marks for days out
OFSTED inspectors have given top marks to the Wild Days Out held at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve near Ringwood.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and New Forest District Council have been running the activity days for children at the centre for almost ten years.
And now they have been praised for the way Wild Days Out are organised and run.
Blashford Lakes education officer Jim Day leads the sessions, which include everything from fire lighting, river exploration and tree climbing to pond dipping and insect watch.
He said: “My main qualification for delivering this unique brand of wildlife education and inspiration is that of essentially being a big kid myself.
“For as long as I have been working in environmental education and conservation I have been concerned that, for many reasons, children do not have the opportunities to get out and play outside in the way that I was lucky enough to.
“I can’t tell you how brilliant it is that I am now actually paid to play, and at the same time go some way to helping to provide today’s generation with similar outdoor experiences here at Blashford Lakes that I enjoyed as a child.”
He added: “The Wildlife Trust is delighted to report that Ofsted found Wild Days Out operating safely and effectively in line with current standards and best practice.
“The inspector, an old guide leader herself, was delighted to observe the children lighting a small fire to heat the water for a drink of hot chocolate outside the dens they had made earlier in the day.”