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May 2007 - French school children anxiously awaiting British children




Cultural differences and even the language barrier are no problem in the exchange between French and British school children in 2006. The French children are anxiously awaiting the return visit. Now, the Parc Naturel Régional de Cap et Marais d‘Opale wants to stimulate this international exchange further and invites Lifescape partners to participate in the yearly Fêtes du Parc (Parks Festival).


In 2006, the children of Dohem School, which participates in the Lifescape project Eco Citizen Schools, visited the Dallington school in the High Weald. Now the Dohem school children are anxious for the return visit on the 5th and 6th of June, says Tiphaine Baron of the PNR. ‘The whole school of Dohem is organising the programme so that the English children will learn about their landscape and local heritage through prepared games and activities. About four to five groups of mixed English and French pupils will spend twenty minutes in five different places in our region.‘


The PNR wants to stimulate this international cooperation and exchange, and invites Lifescape partners to participate in the Fêtes du Parc. ‘Every year a Fêtes du Parc is organised in a village of the PNR‘, says Tiphaine Baron of the PNR. ‘This year on the 9th of September there will be a large market in Desvres, a small town in the western part of the Parc. There we present everything the PNR and local partners do in terms of heritage and landscape enhancement, from the local products to the conservation of local breeds of cow and sheep, from the nature management to educational projects and projects on traditional handicraft.‘


‘This year the focus is on sustainable behaviour‘, says Baron. ‘The idea is to create a link between the participants of our projects - farmers, landowners, municipalities, et cetera - and the people living in the region to deliver a message on how to be sustainable in practice. We want to involve the people more actively in the projects and commit them to the nature and landscape in the region.‘


Baron wants to invite Lifescape partners to participate in the festival. ‘The South Downs AONB expressed their interest to take this opportunity to present initiatives such as the South Downs Lamb Initiative - successful marketing of regional lamb - and also to present wooden handicrafts and other regional products from the South Downs. In this way people from the French region of Cap et Marais d‘Opale can see how the English work on their regional nature and landscape. Any other Lifescape partners wishing to present some of their concrete initiatives will be most welcome.‘


With the exchange of French and English school children and the invitation for the festival the PNR is a proof of the growing international network of Lifescape. Last year Baron and her English colleague Gemma Shallow of the High Wealds AONB experienced how eventful and positive the exchange was for the school children. The cultural differences were no problem, and even the language barrier was relatively easy to break. Last year the preparations were made for a small film about the exchange. That will be finished this year.


More information:
France: Tiphaine Baron, 0033-321878632, tbaron@parc-opale.fr
England: Gemma Shallow, 0044-1580879954, g.swallow@highweald.org


International exchange School projects Eco citizen schools Theatre and landscape history Children travelling Return visits
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Marketing rural products Professionalising land owners Farmers exchange to Brabant Farmers exchange to Audomarois Kempen sheep business case





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