Official opening of the Education Building at Beale Park thanks to generous funding from Thames Water

Posted by Jane Chapman on 19/10/2016

Beale Park is set to open an exciting new education building and wildlife area, thanks to generous funding from Thames Water.

The utility, based in Reading, supports various charitable projects across its supply area of the Thames Valley and London through its Charities Committee.

And the committee has now pledged £170k to Beale Park, in Lower Basildon, in support of this new inspirational education project.

Park staff, along with external companies, volunteer groups, sponsors and supporters have all worked hard over the last 16 months to bring this project to completion.

And on Tuesday, October 25, at 3pm, Richard Howard, chairman of the Trustees at Beale Park, along with Richard Aylard, director of external affairs for Thames Water, will officially open the new area within the Park which will be home to the purpose-built education centre, pond dipping stations and a wildlife boardwalk.

Cathy Purse, community investment programme manager for Thames Water, said: “It’s our pleasure to be supporting this project which will raise awareness of the importance of water and how creatures in our natural environment rely on it, just as we do as humans.

“I’m really looking forward to attending the official opening and am sure it will be a valuable addition to the Park.”

The new development, located behind the park restaurant, will concentrate primarily on classroom sessions, teaching visitors about conservation, native species, ecology, water efficiency and how water and the environment interact.

There will also be some hands-on workshops featuring nest box building and the chance to handle tools used in conservation science, including microscopes and data logging.

Beale Park education officer Jane Chapman said: “The Park and its rich environment is home to a collection of animals, birds and plants and, coupled with the knowledge of our staff, sessions are guaranteed to be fun and educational.

“It is an exciting time for the Park and, as a charity, this project is only made possible by the funding and support of Thames Water.”

The new education hub will help the Park to make strides in conservation education and will be a brilliant learning experience for any pre-school, primary or secondary school to visit. Community groups will also be welcome to book a classroom or self-led experience. All sessions will be curriculum-led, with interpretation signs to accompany learning.

To help commemorate the day itself, visitors are invited to help create a giant ‘bug hotel’ – a purpose-built habitat for a wide variety of insects.

Members of the Park’s Conservation Team will be ready for action – encouraging youngsters to collect as many twigs, cones and leaves as possible from around the Park in a bid to fill up the ‘hotel’.

So, if you fancy having a bugtastic half-hour, join us by the new education building between 10am and 1pm.