New Term, New School!

Luke Barnes in New Lab

It’s good to be back!  Officially back, I mean.  It’s all very nice being in school, getting loads done and not having to obey any of the silly ‘moving around the building’ rules, but lets face it! It’s best to be officially back!

This week marks the return of the students to school, meaning that we’ll be able to start on the mass of work that needs to be done before our Grand Opening (dates TBC).  We have a lot to do, and hopefully will be all ready for our opening. In case you hadn’t guessed… we’re all rather excited!


Want to visit us?

We have had a lot of interest in the past at visiting the Writhlington Orchid Project.  In the past this hasn’t been possible because our greenhouses were a health and safety nightmare and the labs were all miles away.

Fortunately (as I’m sure you’re aware!) we now have a brand new, State of the art Greenhouse and Micropropagation facility which we are all very keen for you to come and have a look round!  We’re hoping to have open days on a regular basis, which will include tours of the greenhouses, lectures and have-a-go at Microprop, as well as various other features from other departments at the school.

The Open Days will hopefully start from October this year, after our Grand Opening Event in Late September.  We’re keen to make this a huge event and look forward to seeing you all there.

Exact dates for this event will hopefully be confirmed by the end of May.  Watch this space!


Cataloging a lab

The new Micropropagation Laboratory

One of the advantages of moving to a new facility, is that it gives a great excuse to do some of those things that you’ve always meant to get around to.  This is exactly the same with our lab.  Now that we’re in our new building, we’ve loaded up a computer database and inputted every single flask.

The practical upshot of this is that we’ll be able to put our hands on any flask in half the time.  I’m really looking forward to testing this out, and particularly seeing how much easier it makes the London Show.

(Left) The flow cabinet (yes, it is on as well!) and some orchid shelves.
(Center) The classroom being slightly taken over by my data-basing efforts (Lab door to the left)
(Right) View of the Lab from the classroom door, including my temporary shelving.


Sikkim 2010

The Sikkim 2010 group departed this weekend for their 10 days in (in my oppinion) the most amazing place in the world.  The twelve adults with interests ranging from photography to rhododendrons (and orchids of course!) left with our very own Simon Pugh-Jones and Kew’s Dr Lauren Gardiner.  I’m sure they’ll have an amazing time!

Interested in going to Sikkim yourself?  Have a look at our information and get in touch about Sikkim 2011.  If this trip is as much of a success as we think it will be, we’ll be taking more people out to Sikkim in April 2011.


From Old to New

Our old converted girls toilet microprop lab is now but an empty shell.  That’s right, over the past two days, myself, along with an extremely dedicated team of year 7, 8 & 9s have been moving every single flask, syringe and tweezer  from the old lab to our state-of-the-art new facility in the new school.

I would love to be able to give you a link to the picasa album of all of our photos, but when I returned to the lab after moving all of the stuff over, “all of the electro-magnetic locks had automatically engaged” (sounds awfully posh, but basically meant that I couldn’t get into the lab without asking someone, and there was no-one around!)

I do have some photos of the greenhouse (move over for that officially starts Monday) and of the lab door!  We’re all very excited about the new school, and can’t wait to get settled in!