Discovering Wildlife and Educational Opportunities in the New Forest

Osborne has begun work to build a new school building and car park for the Forest Education Centre in the New Forest, Hampshire. 

Located on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which focuses on conservation, the Education Centre originally consisted of a series of modular buildings that were far from ideally suited to its purpose.

During site inspections a number of reptiles, including 400 of the protected slow worms and grass snakes were uncovered, as well as the discovery of families of voles; all of which members of the Ecology Team worked to capture and relocate to a safe new location. The ecology work has been carried out over a five-week period with Osborne staff working in close consultation with Hampshire County Council Ecologists.

The Centre provides teaching and accommodation for up to 60 pupils between the ages of 11 and 16, who have been excluded from school or are considered too emotionally vulnerable to attend mainstream education. They are taughtin small groups of between six and eight students across the full range of national curriculum subjects.
The new school building is currently being constructed adjacent to the existing buildings, so as not to interrupt the day-to-day running of the existing school. Once the new purpose-built centre opens, in August 2015, the old buildings will then be removed and the wildlife will be returned to site.