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Batsford launches ‘Leaves For Learning’ fundraising appeal for brand new education centre

PUBLISHED: 19:27 08 September 2013 | UPDATED: 19:28 08 September 2013

Mr Rotavator at Batsford

Mr Rotavator at Batsford

Archant

Batsford Arboretum has launched an ambitious new appeal to raise almost forty thousand pounds for a new education facility at the Cotswold attraction.

Mr Rotavator at BatsfordMr Rotavator at Batsford

Home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country, Batsford is a registered charity receiving no Government or outside financial support. The charity, The Batsford Foundation has a remit to educate people about conservation and nature and each year nearly 700 local primary schoolchildren benefit from Nature Days at Batsford. Lead by the whacky gardening character Mr Rotavator, youngsters benefit from hands-on learning about National Curriculum subjects such as how trees and plants grow, ecosystems and wildlife.

‘We are committed to educating youngsters about the importance of the environment, wildlife and trees and the arboretum is a fantastic living classroom that inspires and excites youngsters’ says Operations Director, Stuart Priest. ‘But we’re completely at the mercy of the weather and a lack of covered space can make the days uncomfortable for children’. ‘We’d like to build a permanent education room which will also allow us to increase the range of events we hold at Batsford, including horticultural evenings for adults, a range of countryside courses and the option to hire out the room for companies wanting to hold staff away-days at Batsford.’

The plan is to build a 7m x 14m wooden education room using FSC renewable wood which will cost around £25,000 but once the building has been kitted out and furnished the final amount needed is £38,000. Any money made from hiring out the facility or running courses will help subsidise the Nature Days, allowing us to extend the number of sessions we can provide or letting schools use the classroom for their own events.

Donations of any size can be made either in person at Batsford or online at www.justgiving.co.uk/leavesforlearning and there are five different sponsorship levels:

• Donate £5 for a green oak leaf

• Donate £10 for an orange oak leaf

• Donate £25 for a yellow oak leaf

• Donate £50 for a silver acorn

• Donate £50 for a gold acorn.

Donors names will be added to the relevant leaf or acorn and attached to a large tree mural which will be on display in the Visitor Centre for the duration of the fundraising appeal before becoming a permanent feature in the new Classroom. The inside walls will also be used as exhibition space for fascinating and engaging tree facts, information about conservation issues and for us to tell the history of famous plant hunters like Ernest Wilson who was born locally at Chipping Campden.

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Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos GL56 9AB.

Cotswold Tourism Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2013.

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