Environmental education service at BEECHE
High Elms and the education centre
BEECHE (Bromley Environmental Education Centre at High Elms) is situated at the edge of High Elms Country Park. Covering over 100 hectares (250 acres) the park has a wide range of habitats, from woodlands, grasslands and hedgerows through to freshwater ponds. These provide an ideal resource for all kinds of environmental and fieldwork activities. It is also a site that is steeped in history, with remnants of Victorian gardens and has a close link with Darwin and his research.
Environmental education centre
The building is an amazing teaching resource as it has been built from locally sourced straw bales, within a Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber frame. The roof is a 'living roof' with sedum plants providing a habitat in its own right; solar tubes allow natural light into the rooms.
The centre has two large teaching rooms with cloakroom and toilet facilities and is fully accessible. The educational side of the building has secure access and is only open to the public during weekends and the school holidays. The other part of the building comprises a cafe that is open to the public.
The staff are qualified teachers and in addition have expertise in Ecology and Environmental Science and by combining both specialisms, create interesting and enjoyable activities in the outdoor environment. They can also give advice on environmental issues and teaching resources and teachers can gain valuable in-service training themselves while on a visit with a group of pupils.