A group of
students from Ellesmere College took a walk on the wild side - a
fortnight's hands-on experience in South Africa involving wildlife
visit, 12 students and two staff developed a better understanding
of conservation, the conflict between animals and humans, animal behaviour,
animal management and ecology.
Gareh, Head of Sixth Form and a chemistry teacher at Ellesmere College, said:
"It was fantastic experience and our students got the chance to immerse
themselves in the world of South African wildlife - with no fences!
able to learn how to track multiple species of animals, identify animal
behaviour, run eDNA samples for biodiversity monitoring and understand the art
of 'think global, yet act local'. They also got the opportunity to interpret
the importance of Sustainable Development Goals.
"We got to
study the Big 5 - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo -
among many others close-up including cheetahs and hippos and in their natural environments; the only thing we didn't see was a leopard but we found its tracks during our track and sign course in the second week. Our pupils were brilliant and they almost all gained a level in the cyber tracking course covered in the second week where we had to learn over 70 different tracks and signs. We were able to gain cyber tracking assessments, learn important bushcraft skills and explore the township of SOWETO.
The trip was
arranged in partnership with Flooglebinder, the first UK specialist travel firm
to become a Certified B Corporation and a company committed to raising
awareness on climate action and biodiversity monitoring.
Dr Gareh said Ellesmere College was delighted once again to be in a
position to offer students the opportunity to broaden their horizons by taking
part in educational trips both in the UK and abroad following the restrictions
"As far back
as 2018 I was looking for a company we could
partner with to provide these valuable opportunities and experiences but in a
way that was far more sustainable and environmentally responsible than had been
done previously," he added.
"My goal was to make
these trips something that would influence our students into making responsible
choices now and for the future as part of their wider education. I found
Flooglebinder and South Africa was their
inception project - the programme that laid the
foundation on how all of their trips are designed.
"It puts students into in-situ conservation programmes and gives them
the experiences and field skills required to help create the next generation of
global citizens. By taking additional steps toward sustainable and responsible
business practices, they calculate the carbon footprint of each trip and offset
it by 120%, meeting the Carbon Neutral International Standard.
"It was the perfect match for us and we pressed ahead with
plans for our trip, which could finally go ahead after being delayed through
Covid. It was an extraordinary experience and one which our students will never
"There will be more to follow, with a trip for our new Sixth Form and
some current Lower Sixth students to St Davids, Pembrokeshire, to get the new
school year in September off to a really positive and forward thinking start.
We are well and truly back and looking to continue to share our place in the
global community with future bi-annual trips to
Iceland, and Peru in 2024."
For more visit: Ellesmere College
1st August 2022 Back to News