24/11/2014 : Minister of State McHugh opens Bridge House Education Centre in Glenveagh National Park
Monday, 24th November—Joe McHugh T.D., Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, was in Glenveagh National Park this morning at 11am to officially open the Bridge House Education Centre.
The Education Programme at Glenveagh National Park, which works with around 2500 school children each year, was in great need of space and improved facilities, especially with its new field studies days for secondary schools. The Bridge House is an old cottage in the park, dating back to 1859 which has been used for a variety of purposes over the years both before and since the estate became a National Park.
The house will now provide two classroom style spaces for school groups to follow up their nature walks and field work, as well as a library and training facilities. Outside, the garden will be enhanced to provide a hands on learning area where groups can learn more about wildlife gardening and carry out insect, bird and small mammal surveys. The outdoor space is also proving a popular choice for leaving certificate ecology field work.
A team of professional staff along with volunteers are helping create what will be a very special place for children of all ages and abilities, from both sides of the border to engage with the natural world and learn about the value of Ulster’s one and only National Park.
Opening the new premises, Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs Joe McHugh, complimented the work going on in the Glenveagh Education Service to make the teaching of science, nature and biodiversity more attractive to our young people. The Minister stated: “The Education Programme is a fine example – and indeed a model for others – of what can be achieved with modest resources, and a complement of dedicated people coming together to produce a shared vision and make a shared commitment to the development of an education resource, at the heart of the community, for children of all ages and abilities, to engage with nature and learn about the value of Ulster’s one and only National Park.”