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Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

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Celebrating 20 Years of Steve

Staff, associates and friends of Epping Forest Field Centre came together on Sunday 1st April to celebrate Steve’s 20th year as Head of Centre.

“Thank you so much for marking my 20th anniversary with such a lovely event. It was a really terrific day with so many nice things that I will forever cherish”, Steve.

The celebrations included speeches by the Associates of Epping Forest President and Chairman: John Besent and Caroline Friedman and Team Leaders Hannah and Anneke. These were followed by the planting of a Yew tree in the grounds with a plaque to mark the occasion. A Yew tree was chosen because it is a native species that is steeped in druidic folklore being symbolic of life, death and re-birth. It also represents longevity - the Fothergill Yew in Scotland is rumoured to be 3,500 years old. Given that we were celebrating Steve's long service to the Centre and FSC this seemed the most fitting reason of all. Thanks to staff member David and his partner Julie, all the guests were also treated to a very tasty buffet and expertly decorated cake.

The presentation of the Yew Tree

Guests at Steve's 20th anniversary party

Steve’s 20th anniversary was the perfect occasion to share some of the remarkable achievements of the Centre over the last 2 decades:

• Under Steve’s leadership and guidance the Centre has developed extremely hard working teams, teams with individuals who often work above and beyond requirements and expectations. Teams that are conscientious, innovative, creative and ambitious and dedicated to maintaining the ‘outstanding’ service, as described by a former Senior Ofsted Inspector, that we provide as the City of London’s environmental learning service in Epping Forest.

• The quality of staff development has been recognised by the Investors in People Award accreditation gained in 1998, renewed in 2003, 2009 and most recently March 2012.

• The work of volunteers is highly valued at the Centre and we have strong links with VAEF, chaired up until last year by Steve.

• Our 22,000 visitors (representing almost a fifth of the total number of visitors to the Field Studies Council) also consider provision here at the Centre to be ‘outstanding’, with well over 90% rating their visit overall in the highest category on a five point scale.

• The work of the Centre has featured in Teach magazine as a model of best national practice and the Centre was among the first in the UK to be awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge developed by the DCSF with the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. A fantastic achievement.

• As a Centre we continue to aspire to grow in an economic recession and Steve remains committed and encourages the team to promote new and innovative environmental ideas and learning in biodiversity and sustainability.

Steve and all the Centre staff look forward to the next 20 years of delivering the Epping Forest experience.

Thursday, April 19, 2012