VCT Links with the University of Winchester to Develop Educational Resource Packs
The Wonderful World of Watercress booklet was launched In May 2012 at the Watercress Festival in Alresford. The booklet is a result of a joint collaboration between the University of Winchester and the Vitacress Conservation Trust.
The booklet provides ‘everything you never wanted to know about watercress’ and is aimed at primary school children. It shows the story of watercress from how it is grown to how its history is closely linked with the Watercress Line. Watercress beds are supplied by continuously flowing water which comes from a bore hole, if you would like to see a bore hole being drilled click here.
The history of the project:
Initiated by the Vitacress Conservation Trust, fourth year primary education students at the University of Winchester were assigned the task of developing a science resource for schools based upon watercress farming and the river eco-system.
The resource pack was to be designed to support the development of children’s scientific understanding based upon watercress farming and its relationship to the environment in Hampshire and would be based upon clearly identified needs established through communication with local schools.
In 2009 fifteen students visited the St Mary Bourne site of Vitacress Salads Limited for a general introduction to the business, watercress farming methods and associated environmental initiatives. The students were given a presentation by Dr Steve Rothwell, the Company’s Production and Technical Director and a Trustee of the Vitacress Conservation Trust, followed by a tour of the watercress farm.
Their lecturer, David Storrie, commented “The students are really excited about the project and despite not exactly being volunteers I think they may act like it! I really think that the warmth everybody showed them, the excellent tour and the talk by Steve has inspired them”.
They subsequently decided to focus their resource packs on ‘The Wonderful of Watercress’.