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Rob Smith’s ‘Talk on the Wild Side’ Kent Wildlife Trust Podcast

On Wednesday, 10th January, we had a very special visitor to our school. Rob Smith, previously a co-anchor on the BBC South East Today news programme, came in to interview some of our children and staff about the work we do to help the environment. This amazing opportunity came about from Goat Lees winning Gold for the Kent Wildlife Trust, Wilder Kent Awards 2023 last year. After being notified of our success, we were contacted by Natasha Aidiyantz, Marketing Manager, asking if we would like to be involved in Rob Smith’s ‘Talk on the Wildside’ Podcast. Obviously, we were extremely excited and accepted the offer and, after much organising, we booked a date for the event.

Rob came in on Wednesday afternoon with a colleague from Kent Wildlife Trust, armed with a camera and microphone. After a quick chat, briefly talking about the school and its involvement with all things environmental, Mrs de Roeck and I escorted them both around the school grounds; it was a beautiful sunny, but invigorating, afternoon but we embraced the cold and set off.

As we wandered around the school, showing our visitors all the wonderful diverse habitats that we had created, Rob asked us questions, like ‘Why we felt it was so important to create these areas within school?’, ‘How much involvement did the children have?’, ‘What was the driving force behind our environmental work?’ and ‘How did we get to be involved in so many amazing projects?’. Although the questioning seemed a little intense, Rob was trying to let his listeners know how important we felt our environmental work was to us all at Goat Lees, children and adults alike.

On the way round, as we passed our micro wood, nature pond and strolled through the wild meadow, Rob and his colleague noticed some of our pupils in our Forest School area. They were having a outdoor learning session round a fire with a gentleman call Phil Henry (a Forest School teacher from Bhundu Bushcraft). It was here that the opportunity arose to interview the children and hear, firsthand and unscripted, what they felt about looking after our natural environment, and why they loved being outside. They did not disappoint, and the passion they felt definitely came across in the interview.

After finishing off with a stroll past our composting area and along the Nature Trail, we headed inside to speak to our Roots & Shoots After School Club. It was then the children’s turn to express their love for what they do; they talked about all the environmental projects they had been involved in, how much work they had done in and around the school, plus their community projects for our local community and communities in other countries. It was also lovely to hear that the children felt that joining Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots had inspired them further, and then talking about how every project and interest from other organisations had made them want to do more and more.

These children are the hope for our planet, understanding the impact we are all having on our world. They know we all have to work together to do something about it and, as they grow up, it will be second-nature to consider our planet at all times.

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