FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

A Brief History of the FSC

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In 1943 FSC’s founders gathered at the Natural History Museum in London to realise a vision ‘to provide opportunities for school children to study living plants and animals in their natural environment’.  From that initial meeting the Council for the Promotion of Field Studies (now Field Studies Council) was born.

The FSC established its first field centre at Flatford Mill in 1945. The centre opened to its first students in May 1946, and by 1948 the field centres at Juniper Hall, Malham Tarn and Dale Fort had also opened. In 1952, the FSC was registered as a charity, and new centres at Preston Montford and Slapton Ley opened in 1956 and 1958 respectively. In 1959, the FSC began to publish the Field Studies Journal, a cross-curricular journal that has published over 250 titles. Through the 1960s the FSC continued to expand, with new centres at Orielton, Rhyd-y-creuau, Nettlecombe Court and the first day centre at Epping Forest.

From 1978, the FSC began to offer courses overseas, and FSC Overseas became one of the foremost providers of special interest tours. The FSC Publications unit was initiated in 1989, and has become known world-wide for its renowned AIDGAP series of keys and fold-out charts. FSC Environmental Education, established in 1994, provided environmental training and and consultancy to the education sector. FSC Environmental Training, established in the same year, worked with professional practitioners from government and industry.

Through the 1990s, new Centres opened at Blencathra, Brockhole, Castle Head, Amersham and Margam Park. In 2001, the FSC opened its first centre in Northern Ireland at Derrygonnelly. In 2002, the FSC started to work with the Scottish Field Studies Association to promote and deliver educational, professional development and Individuals & Families courses at the SFSA's Kindrogan Field Centre