Reigate Grammar School DofE


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Bronze conservation day March 2015

P107041625 Bronze dofe Third Year students started their conservation volunteering programme today on Reigate Heath local nature reserve.  They spent the day working hard clearing invading trees like scots pine, with the aim of restoring the threatened lowland acid heathland habitat which has become rare because of development like roads, housing, recreation and golf courses. This group of students were outstanding in the way they engaged enthusiastically with all the activities: they listened to instructions, worked well together and improved an enormous area.  They did the tradition of RGS dofe conservation proud on their very first day of conservation activities … well done!

This lowland acid heath habitat used to cover larger parts of the South East on sandstone areas like Reigate Heath.  When grazing stopped trees and scrub invaded and destroyed the heathland.   Restoring heathland will improve the habitat and chances for animals like adders, grass snakes, slow worms, lizards and birds like sparrow hawks, crossbills and stonechat to thrive in our otherwise overcrowded part of the country.  Reigate Heath is a SSSI – site of special scientific interest, so it is protected from development but the animals and plants still need our help.

The students worked very hard all day raking out the thick nutrient rich soil which smothers heather seeds and stops their growth.  Heather likes the nutrient poor sandy soils beneath, so our students raked off the overlying “alien soil” to expose the sandy grey soils.

The students also felled selected trees including some Scots Pine and some Oak and Silver Birch.  These pre-selected trees opened up significant glades and will encourage the growth of heath seedlings which have lain dormant for a hundred years.

RGS students have worked on the Heath and elsewhere for nearly 10 years and so they can truly say they have improved local habitats for the benefit of local people and wild plants and animals. We like to say RGS students “Save The World starting in their own backyard”… and they certainly helped save a little tiny bit of Surrey today!

More details here:

Many thanks, as always, to Reigate Area Conservation Volunteers who run the day.

contact Reigate Area Conservation Volunteers (RACV) here http://www.racv.org.uk/

http://www.racv.org.uk/heath%20leaflet.pdf


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Bronze Conservation Day December 2014

December 15 2014: Bronze dofe conservation on Redhill Common: clearing invading non-native trees and opening up clearings pathside to improve light for a greater biodiversity of species and improved habitat.  The group worked hard and achieved significant improvements in the natural habitat of Redhill Common.  RGS has been improving local habitats for more than 7 years now under the expert guidance of Reigate Area Conservation Volunteers. If you would like to help with active local habitat conservation then visit RACV at http://www.racv.org.uk/

Reigate Grammar saves the world… starting in our back yard!


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Bronze expeditions 10-11 October 2014

Over 130 students embarked on their Bronze dofe expeditions 10-11 October. They walked and cycled and canoed to various campsites, scout camps and farms around the North Downs, Medway and New Forest areas.  The weather was showery and there were thunderstorms overnight that woke many up.  This was the largest number of students ever fielded in one expedition by RGS.

 


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RGS Gold canoe expeditions Summer 2014

Two pioneering canoe groups from Reigate Grammar took an adventurous journey down the River Wye and Severn for their Gold canoe training and qualifying expeditions.  They found it rewarding and challenging, on one occasion paddling over 45km in one day! They became a superb team together and the photos show what a great adventure they had.  Well done all and I hope this encourages others to take up the amazing opportunity of canoeing for their DofE award scheme which is available as an expedition option for Bronze, Silver and Gold award groups.


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Gold DofE qualifying MidWales August 2014

 

Nearly 50 RGS students successfully completed their Gold qualifying hike 16-20 August in Mid Wales.  A blustery storm warranting a severe weather warning for high wind started this expedition on a rather inclement note.   3 groups were re-routed below the summits for the first day due to gusts of 50mph forecast on a high route that would take them above 700m for most of the day on an exposed ridge.  After the first day the weather was cool and breezy and a bit showery but ideal for walking and the groups rose to the challenge and performed well.  Staff were most impressed with their positive spirit throughout the expedition and they were an especially pleasant and fun year group to assist through the challenge.  Well done all!  Thanks to all the staff and external leaders and assessors for your help with this expedition.

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