As Luke posted, today we had the honour of HRH the Duke of Kent at Writhlington to officially open our new school and, of course, no visit would be complete without a proper tour of the greenhouses. Greenhouse club were in position to tell him about their ochids, the habitats they come from and other interesting facts. Here is a selection of highlights:
Caroline – “Somehow I forgot to say ‘your Royal Highness’ and just said ‘Hi’ but he seemed quite happy and was really interested in Masdevallias.”
Ike – “He was brilliant”
Zoe – “He was interested to know what we do.”
Mitchell – “I was suprised and pleased with how much time he spent with us. He asked some really intelligent questions.”
Matt – “it was fun to have him here and a really good experience”
Definately a good day and we’ll add some photos when they are released by the press.
HRH the Duke of Kent will be visiting Writhlington School tomorrow for a tour of the building and to officially open the new school. As part of this visit he will be making a trip to the greenhouses and meeting many of the students involved in the growing.
Normally, I’d put a paragraph here about how we’re looking forward to it… but I’m a year 11, it’s exam season, and I have 3 hours of back-to-back exams while he’s here! Oh well!
Saturday was a brilliant day for greenhouse club. We arrived at the zoo at 8am and set up a display of orchids, information boards and Luke’s winning Sikkim research, for the Zoo’s plant conservation and international biodiversity day. As the public arrived it was up to our team of twelve students to introduce people to the wonders of orchids, including their unusual scents and diverse forms. The team also explained about Writhlington’s work in Sikkim and invited visitors to our Orchid Festival on 25th September 2010. Having the Young Biologist of the Year (Luke Barnes) on our display attracted the director of Bristol Zoo, Dr Jo Gipps, and after a long fruitful discussion it looks as if we have some interesting future collaborations with the Zoo to look forward to.
This saturday (22nd May), the Writhlington Orchid Project will be taking part in a Plant Conservation event at Bristol Zoo Gardens. If you’re in the Bristol area and are looking for something to do, I’d thoroughly recommend popping down to have a look. In addition to us having a display, information and lots of enthusiastic students, there’s Bristol Zoo to look around.
One of the many things that I’m looking forward to about the Writhlington Autumn Orchid Festival are the lectures. At WAOF this September we are planning to have lectures from students at the school about various international expeditions. I’ll be doing one on Sikkim and the Himalayas and Zoe and Zoe (who you may remember from the RHS Blog) will be talking about Durban.
This isn’t the really exciting bit though! The most exciting bit is the venue for these lectures. One of the advantages of having our brand new school is that we have a rather large theatre to play with. We had a meeting with the theatre manager today who is also excited about this upcoming event and will be adding his magic touch to make this even better.
Hang on tight – This event is shaping up to be even better than I first imagined!