Popular Kent wildlife park brings history to life for schools across the county by offering free visits from its resident Viking
Leading British wildlife conservation charity, Wildwood Trust, is bringing history to life by giving Kent school pupils the chance to learn about old England from its very own Norse warrior this autumn. Dressed in authentic costume, Erik the Green, who lives at Wildwood near Canterbury, is taking time out from looting and pillaging to visit local schools and teach them all about his life in the Dark Ages.
Schools that book a visit, will get to see how Erik prepares for an expedition and which weapons he’ll be taking with him. Students will learn the difference between a seax and lang-seax and hear what Erik does when he’s not raiding monasteries for plunder.
The 15-minute taster sessions, which are free of charge and available to book for every Friday, are part of a move to highlight the park’s “Living History” workshops, as Education Manager Langan Turner, explains:
“Throughout history, forests were incredibly important, providing everything from timber and firewood to dyes and medicines. They were places where nobles hunted, outlaws hid and verderers worked.
“To reflect this rich heritage, each Living History workshop at Wildwood takes place in ancient woodland, creating a unique immersive experience. We hope as many schools as possible come aboard and take advantage of this great opportunity for Erik to visit them and bring history to life.”
Visitors to Wildwood can see many animals that would have roamed wild across England during Erik’s time such as bears, wolves and wild cats, creating a connection between the past and the present, and complemented by the Living History workshops.
Delivered by presenters in full historical costume, the Living History workshops, based at Wildwood, encourage pupils to take part in authentic hands-on demonstrations, such as painting cave art, weaving with lucet and even fire lighting.
Wildwood offers four Living History workshop options in total: Stone Age, Saxons, Vikings and Medieval, with Roman and Tudor modules in development. ‘History Tours’ are also available to show how our ancestors interacted with animals. There is no obligation to book a Living History Workshop following a free 15 minute taster.
For more information about Living History workshops or to arrange a visit from Eric the Green, please contact, Wildwood on 01227 712 111 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org