A Year 12 student received Seaford College’s first John Muir Award from Jonathan Dean, education officer for the South Downs National Park Authority.
Josef Amin from Graffham received the John Muir Award, which sets four challenges. Participants must discover a wild place, explore its wilderness, help to conserve it and then share their experiences. There are three levels of the award: Discovery, Explorer and Conserver. Joe received the Explorer Award after his work with Anne Dennig on a rare chalk stream at Botany Bay. The Botany Bay Conservancy is at the entrance to Seaford College which is nestled in over 450 acres of listed parkland.
Jonathan Dean’s role is to encourage schools across Sussex and Hampshire to use the South Downs National Park for learning and said he was proud to present Joe with the award.
Jonathan said: “Joe is a great example of the flexibility of the award and how you can take it in your own direction. Botany Bay is a rare chalk stream, which has eight indicator species for a clean and healthy stream; Joe used his initiative and took two courses organised by The Riverfly Partnership to learn how to monitor the stream.”
Joe said: “I love wildlife and working outside. I like to see the progress I’m making in terms of conservation and making a difference to the environment. I enjoyed the Duke of Edinburgh Award and decided the John Muir Award would be my next challenge.”
Mr Amin said: “Joe has had a passion for anything that lives since he was tiny, long may it last! We are very proud of the work he is doing and we would like to thank Anne Dennig for the time and support that she has given to Joe.”
Anne Dennig said: “I really enjoyed seeing Joe’s dedication to the John Muir Award and the important work at Botany Bay. Students at Seaford benefit greatly from being active outside with all of the extra-curricular activities on offer.”
Following on from Joe’s success, Matt Gough, Seaford’s head of outdoor education, has been running the John Muir Award in addition to Seaford’s weekly Forest School activities.
Joe will continue the tradition at Seaford College of older students inspiring younger pupils and sharing their knowledge and experience by teaching Biology students how to monitor the stream. He lookf forward to inspiring more pupils to participate in the John Muir Award.
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