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Increasing countryside access

Saturday, 07 September 2019
Springhead Trust

Springhead in Dorset is keen to provide more opportunities for disadvantaged children, particularly those from urban areas, to visit the countryside. To help schools and parents with the cost of residential visits, the charity has started offering bursaries for children in receipt of pupil-premium funding. Some subsidised places are still available for visits this autumn.

Located in the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Springhead has 15 acres of grounds, including a chalk stream and lake, natural springs, orchards, wildlife areas and kitchen gardens. Popular activities organised for visiting children include wildlife walks on nearby chalk downland, drinking spring water, bat detecting, building dens and having campfires. Visits can be tailor-made to suit the differing needs of groups and to help deliver the curriculum at all key stages. Some schools choose to run their own activities.

Springhead’s Director, Edward Parker, explains that whilst pupil premium funding can be used by schools to subsidise residential trips, the cost to families can still be prohibitive. ‘Previous experience has shown us that the more disadvantaged children, who would be most likely to benefit from the trip, are often less likely to attend because their parents cannot afford the cost. We therefore raised funds for a limited number of bursaries for children attending with school groups.’ The centre ran a very successful pilot project this summer for pupils at Bincombe Valley primary school in Weymouth.

Springhead still has availability for day and residential visits this autumn and is taking bookings for 2020. The general cost for children is £38 a night including full board, and a limited number of subsidised places are available at just £19.00 per night. For details contact Edward Parker on 01747 811853, email [email protected] and see www.springheadtrust.org.uk

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