Sustainability Centre Trip Report – Emily

On Monday 2nd of March it was my class’ trip, along with some of HG, to the Sustainability Centre. We went to improve our knowledge of the topic we did (in September) of the School Grounds We’d like and to make whatever we put in it, does not affect the environment in a bad way. At around 10 o’clock we arrived at the Sustainability Centre, we were greeted by our two group leaders Stefan and Rachel. We spilt into two groups, one group went with Stefen and the other Rachel. My group that went with Stefan looked at the sewage sysetm that used willow, surprisingly to drain the waste, a bottle greenhouse and how the Sustainability Centre grew crops and flowers. After that session we had learnt about how to build and adapt things so that they don’t hurt the environment. Once the groups had swapped over my group went with Rachel. We made willow fences just like we made at Buster Ancient Farm, Rachel told us that the willow was cut from the Sustainability Centre. After that we made tree spirits, we put a circle of clay on a tree, then used the things on the floor for example leaves, twigs and snail shells to put faces on them. Mine was a bunny but everyone else’s was much better. This showed everyone that you don’t need to buy things to make things look good.


After a yummy lunch, we spilt into three groups. One group went with Stefan, another Rachel and lastly Janet. Stefan taught us how do build a kind of bridge out of sand/earth/chalk filled bag. We had to build the arch over a tyre and make it symmetrical. When we took the tyre out it collapsed. So we did it again. The second time it worked and we all walked across it and it didn’t fall apart. Until Mr Stanley walked along and it broke! This was really fun.


Then we went with Janet who was going to teach us how to make a cob oven out of sand and clay. The first group had built the base with sand. And then we had to put clay bricks (that half of us made) and put them over the sand dome. After us the last group made it into a fish instead of a semi – circle. I enjoyed doing this even though I got dirty with the clay, it was a good job we wore old clothes.


The last activity we did was with Rachel. She gave us a tour of the Sustainability Centre and told us about the buildings. One of the wooden buildings had been made by Ben Law (who made his house of all natural materials and on Grand Designs) who had built a lovely hut, with a fire, roof but no walls.  Some of the facts that Rachel told us were that the Sustainability Centre used to be where the Navy used and they have adapted some things such as heat proof windows to keep the heat in and solar panels so they don’t pollute the world around them. She also showed us a composting toilet and how it worked along with hay that was used to insulate the shower area. All the sinks and some of the plastic windows that were there, were recycled from the Navy buildings were they used to live. This meant that they didn’t need to ship things over from other countries.


Overall the trip was a good day since we learnt a lot about sustainability and how to use the things around us that won’t affect the earth. Hopefully we will be putting some of the ideas and skills we have learnt on the trip to make our school grounds better and more environment friendly.


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