A brand new outdoor classroom and garden has been launched in a bid to educate young people about reduction, reusing, and recycling.
The South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership (STWWMP) launched its new outdoor facility as the latest development of its Campground Visitor and Education Centre (V&E) at Wrekenton, Gateshead this month.
STWWMP is a local authority partnership set up to deliver recycling and waste services for residents of Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland and its new outdoor classroom facilities will help local young people to understand the principles of waste management, reuse and recycling.
The outdoor classroom and garden was transformed from a small piece of land surrounding the V&E Centre, and has been developed to show different aspects of the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ message in a practical way to young people and their families. It supports a wider educational programme provided at the V&E Centre by Groundwork NE & Cumbria, on behalf of South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership, and recycling and recovery company SUEZ.
The garden includes raised beds for vegetables, plants and sensory herbs, a pond, three bespoke wooden benches created by a local chainsaw artist Tommy Craggs, and a greenhouse made from 1000 reclaimed plastic bottles, some of which were used in The Great North Run.
The outdoor classroom was officially opened recently, and welcomes visits from schools and community groups who would like to learn more about how to be more environmentally friendly and reduce waste.
Wendy Fail, Visitor and Education Centre Coordinator with Groundwork NE & Cumbria, said: “The garden is fabulous, and we are delighted to now be able to expand our educational programme at the V&E Centre to include outside learning. Children and adults can learn how to grow food, compost, and understand environmental science topics in a fun, practical way.
“The V&E Centre has grown from strength to strength in the three years since our doors opened, with more than 12,000 people benefitting from the free waste awareness and recycling education services across the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership area to date. We hope the new garden will bring more visitors who are hungry to learn!”
Gateshead Councillor Linda Green MBE, Chair of Joint Executive Committee, said: “It is wonderful to see such a positive educational project in the partnerships community. I’m certain the outdoor classroom will inspire many young people and their families to reduce, reuse and recycle even more than they already do. This new addition to the V&E Centre will make it a popular venue for school trips and community visits for years to come.”
Anna Bell, Regional Manager SUEZ, said: “SUEZ is proud to be in partnership with South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership and Groundwork NE & Cumbria. As a company, we want to enable people of all ages to reduce their impact on the environment. This new outdoor classroom will help young people learn how to reduce waste, conserve natural resources, and ensure a great local environment for their children and grandchildren in the future.”
For further information about the centre, or the services it offers, please contact Wendy Fail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 07730 498486.