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On Wednesday 24th February, Lancaster University hosted an online public talk about the Eden Project North, pitched by Lancaster’s own Professor Robert Barratt. Back in May 2020, Barratt was appointed as Education Chair, the first joint appointment between Lancaster University and the Eden Project. Acclaimed British scientist Lord Robert Winston hosted the event and Lancaster’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Schofield was also in attendance. The talk consisted of Professor Barratt presenting his idea of the ‘Morecambe Bay Curriculum’, a curriculum he had outlined and defined. It was pitched in detail, with Barratt discussing what the curriculum will contain, when it will be achieved by, and why it is important. The public could then ask questions via the zoom call’s chat, which Professor Barratt responded to.
SCAN managed to sit down with Professor Barratt (online) to discuss this talk and asked him how the Eden Project North will be affected by COVID-19, to which he said “Covid -19 has empowered the process. There is now an even greater urgency to bring Eden Project North to Morecambe Bay. Like the rest of our country, it has tested our resilience and capacity to adapt to new challenges. Further, it has strengthened our resolve to bring the Morecambe Bay Curriculum to life. The pandemic highlights the importance of our relationship to the natural world and highlights the need for us to respect and live in harmony with nature.” Then, SCAN asked him if he had been surprised by the local and student response to the Eden Project North, to which he replied “Constantly! Children and young people absolutely understand and know why projects like this are fundamental to our future survival. The project speaks to their aspirations for the planet and themselves. Most importantly, they see this project as a beacon of hope not just for Morecambe Bay but also the world.” Lastly, SCAN asked him how he felt to deliver a talk to Lord Winston, to which he said “Grateful. Lord Winston very kindly offered to host the public lecture. His insights into the power of the Morecambe Bay Curriculum were profound. We listened, and we will incorporate his thoughts into our future thinking. ”
When asked about the talk, Lancaster’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Schofield said “As Professor Robert Barratt made clear in his talk, the Morecambe Bay Curriculum is about inspiring a generation of learners through a sense of place. In doing so it is breaking down traditional artificial barriers that sometimes exist between schools and between year groups with projects that will make a tangible difference to the Bay area.” When asked about the developing partnership between Lancaster University and Eden Project North, Professor Schofield said “I am very proud of the way that Lancaster University is playing such an important part in trying to bring the Eden Project North into being in Morecambe. It is a once in a generation chance to combine a visitor attraction, an educational opportunity, and a research and data facility in such a way as to benefit both the local community and the University.”
It will be interesting to watch the relationship between Lancaster University and the Eden Project North inevitably develop over the coming few years, with the Eden Project North still scheduled to be completed in 2023, and then to open in 2024. The online talk is available for all to view here.