Writhlington and KCCEM students – taking a rest on the climb up Mount Bigugu home to a unique group of plants including recently described speciesWrithlington and KCCEM students – taking a rest on the climb up Mount Bigugu home to a unique group of plants including recently described species

Rwandan Schools’ Orchid Project

The Writhlington School Orchid Project is lead by teacher Simon Pugh-Jones MBE and his pupils have gained an international reputation for excellence in orchid science, propagation and conservation. An ongoing partnership between Writhlington School and the Cambridge University Botanic Garden shares opportunities for learning through innovative approaches to plants and education.
Since 2012 school pupils from Writhlington School in Somerset have been working with staff and students in Rwandan Schools and Colleges to help set up a Rwandan Schools Orchid Project with the aims of developing local science education, conservation understanding and sustainable development.

Students from Writhlington first visited Rwanda in February 2013 and in July 2014 students set up Rwanda’s first dedicated orchid propagation laboratory at the Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Education (KCCEM). Through a series of workshops they trained staff and students at KCCEM and the Kigali schools, FAWE, Amis des Enfants and Byimana, in laboratory techniques.

Further visits by Writhlington staff and students in 2015 together with visits to the UK by staff from KCCEM and FAWE School have further developed the project and during February 2016 the next phase of development will be supported by a new expedition of Writhlington students.

To follow Writhlington's blog with news and photos from Rwanda see link left.

Videos of sowing and replanting orchid seed made by Writhlington students can be seen in the Tropical Wetlands House during the Orchid Festival and by following the link left.

For a full overview of the Rwanda expedition 2016 a pdf is available to download to the left.