The Education Programmes of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) are provided as a means of:
- Promoting (a) awareness, (b) knowledge and (c) appreciation of our native flora, fauna and their habitats.
- Fostering individual and collective responsibility for the welfare and conservation of our natural heritage.
- Providing information and advice on environmental issues.
NPWS education staff work from several Education Centres, located at National Parks and Nature Reserves around the country, catering for most NPWS Regions. A range of schools programmes have been designed that reflect the aims and objectives of the NPWS and also support the sections of the curricula of the Department of Education and Science (including the SESE curriculum for Primary science and the curricula for Junior Cycle Science and Geography and Senior Cycle Biology and Geography). Programme activities vary from centre to centre and season to season but can include field studies in a variety of habitats using specialist equipment, investigative experiments and related activities such as completion of worksheets and follow up projects. Support activities such as art and craft, drama and other forms of creative expression of related scientific themes can also be included.
Education staff are also involved in a wide variety of events and activities at local and regional level including schools outreach programmes, public walks and talks, family days, exhibitions and open days. Nationally, education staff work closely with other sections of the Government including the Heritage Council, ENFO and the Local Authorities, supporting such events as Heritage Week, National Biodiversity Day, Tree Week, etc. The Education Programmes also link into the Department of Education and Science and, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, through Forfas and it’s Discover Primary Science (DPS) and Science Week initiatives. In addition, education staff work closely with local communities, special interest groups and individual members of the public.