Goodwood Education Trust

Over the past 40 years, tens of thousands of children have visited Goodwood to learn about the countryside and where their food comes from. This is an extremely valuable facility, it provides experiences to youngsters who wouldn’t have visited the countryside otherwise. However, when the aged facilities became too small to meet local demand, we offered to support The Goodwood Education Trust to create a new shared vision for the facility.

Rt. Hon Nick Gibb, MP, said:

Whilst our schools are already rising to the challenge of making sure that every child is taught the knowledge they need; private organisations and the wider community can play their part too. The new Seeley Copse Education Centre is a wonderful example of just what can be achieved when an inspiring vision meets community action. The environmental education experience now available here at Goodwood will offer a valuable regional resource to enhance our extensive knowledge-rich curriculum.

Award-winning Partnerships

The combined effort and support that we received from over 35 local partners and contractors, alongside ourselves at Thakeham has valued the environmental hub at over £500,000. Thanks to the community effort, over 3,000 children and young people will be able to use the facilities every year. The ecological hub has been acknowledged as Highly Commended in the 2021 South Downs Design Awards.

Rob Boughton, Thakeham Group CEO, said:

It’s rare, but every so often a community development project comes along which ignites all those involved. Goodwood Education Centre is one of those projects. It represented an important opportunity to use our skills and the wider Thakeham family to drive transformation in a rural area and establish a leading centre for ecological learning.

The support we enjoyed from our partners throughout the South East is a wonderful endorsement of our shared vision for a better environmental future for the planet.

Building Future Generations

The new centre will offer increased capacity and longer opening hours, providing young people with plentiful opportunities to learn about the ecology around them. To help them along the way, there will be brand new research equipment for them to use, including webcams and digital microscopes. In addition, the Internet connectivity has been boosted and the pre-established Nature Trail has been restored. Visitors from schools, colleges, community groups and charities will enjoy cooking activities, woodland management and rural arts and crafts.

The Duke of Richmond, said:

More than 40 years ago, my father set out to inspire a love and understanding of the natural world amongst young people. Today, this new building will ensure that his vision to empower future generations to become guardians of the great outdoors will continue.


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