The Countryside Alliance Foundation is a charity set up to co-operate with the Countryside Alliance to build on the element of Alliance work that has always been inherently charitable. This includes educating the public about the countryside and helping to protect the natural environment. By introducing adults and children alike to the dramatic realities of rural Britain, we hope to inspire them to find out more and become passionate enough to share our aims and values.
The flagship initiative of The Countryside Alliance Foundation is Fishing for Schools. Fishing for Schools is an innovative and inspiring programme which is simple and effective. With the aim of getting fishing onto the National Curriculum, short courses are run for children aged between 14 and 16, many of whom who have special educational needs. Whilst academic work occasionally proves difficult for some children, this alternative learning, melding with existing ASDAN* modules embraces both classroom and outdoor learning whilst contributing to the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness, which is a GCSE alternative for many children.
The course works by supplying the children with fishing equipment and, led by a dedicated team led by celebrated angler Charles Jardine, taught how to assemble it, cast and catch fish in a safe environment. Subjects such as safety, insect life, knot-tying, fish biology and respect for local wildlife are all covered. In 2012 the courses are expanding into cooking what has been caught, therefore giving youngsters the sense of achievement of preparing what they have caught, learning the basics of cooking and some delicious recipes into the bargain.
*ASDAN is the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network which is recognised by the Government. The scheme operates in thousands of schools and other educational centres and is listed as one of the few major routes for developing and accrediting wider key skills.