GAP short courses

Young people gaining skills and experience doing outdoor conservation work

GAP gives young people the skills and knowledge they need to access, enjoy or work in local green spaces, depending on what they want to do.

AQA Unit Awards

We know everyone is different, and with a variety of groups volunteering regularly with us we need to be able to offer a flexible range of educational opportunities. From identifying and using tools, to carrying out a community gardening project from planning to growing, and from learning to recycle to designing and building habitats, AQA Unit Awards allow us to tailor short courses to young people’s existing skills and interests, whilst opening up the possibility for new experiences.Over a 12-week course, our community rangers engage groups of volunteers in gardening, land management and horticulture projects.

New outdoor 'classroom'

For spring and summer 2019, our primary outdoor 'classroom' for AQA Unit Awards will be the outdoor space at the new community Pavilion on Farm Road in Morden. This site offers huge potential for outdoor learning, with a community garden, a small piece of woodland, extensive football pitches and a number of habitat borders that provide major conservation opportunities.

At these early stages, the community garden in itself requires skills far beyond gardening as we plant trees, create a wildlife pond, erect fences, dig out our growing beds and lay our paths. Luckily there is an AQA Unit to fit all of these tasks, meaning our volunteers contribute to the future of this community asset, whilst gaining an accredited award.

Work experience at Morden Hall Park

Volunteer groups also have the opportunity to get involved in the management of Morden Hall Park itself. GAP works closely with the Gardens and Outdoors team at Morden Hall Park to work from the Estate Management Plan, making sure they undertake valuable work.

Students from the Aurora Centre who complete the 12-week course are then invited to join the Park Patrollers, a self-led group dedicated to supporting the Gardens and Outdoors team. This progress is a perfect example of how GAP can train young people to get involved in conservation and land management.

With students from Beats Learning, an education provider for young people at risk of social exclusion, we undertake a 12-week course that provides meaningful work experience and skills building. The AQA units provide a framework for learning and the recognition these young people deserve.

Latest updates

24 Jun 19

Finishing touches to pond habitat

Beats Learning students helped us put the finishing touches to the pond at Farm Road Community Garden. This will be a vital habitat for a range of wildlife.

Beats Learning volunteers putting the finishing touches to a pond habitat

13 May 19

Boundary fence completed at Farm Road Pavilion

GAP volunteers put the finishing touches to the post and wire fence at the Farm Road Pavilion in Morden, completing another @AQA unit award. The fence will support our espaliered fruit trees and mark the boundary to our community growing and wildlife haven.

Two young people constructing a fence as part of a Green Academies Project short course