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HRH The Princess Royal visited the Woodland Education Centre to look at the extensive practical conservation work which has been carried out and how the Offwell Woodland and Wildlife Trust promotes the British countryside locally, nationally and internationally.
The Woodland Education Centre is located at Offwell near the East Devon town of Honiton in South West England. When work started in 1986 the site was dominated by sterile Rhododendron ponticum. It now contains a variety of important native wildlife habitats such as heathland, wetland and freshwater ponds.
The Princess watched an IT presentation which showed the wide-reaching educational work of the Trust. As well as the ever-popular educational visits to the Centre, the educational activities extend both nationally and world-wide via an award-winning website. It receives over one million hits a month in term-time from over 100 countries around the world.
During the Princess' visit, she presented the Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust with the John Mejor Award for 'Practical Conservation Work and Promotion of the Beauty of the Countryside in Devon, the United Kingdom and Internationally'. The award is decided by a panel of judges from Devon Conservation Forum and the Devon branch of the trade union Unison.
As part of her tour of the Centre, the Princess met a number of local school children who benefit directly from the activities of the Trust. She also met volunteers and students undertaking ecological surveys. A family from Wales were also present. They were an example of the many people who utilize the Centre and the Trust's website for home education. A number of local dignitaries and invited guests were also presented to HRH The Princess Royal.
Throughout her visit to the Woodland Education Centre, HRH The Princess Royal displayed a lively interest and excellent knowledge of countryside matters.
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All images copyright Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust
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Photography by Dougal Syers
This event was assisted by Hanson in the Community
HRH The Princess Royal visit to the Woodland Education Centre 11th April 2005