The David George Field Study Trust
Registered Charity Number 309033
In 1972, as Headmaster of Polehampton Junior School, David George bought Oakdale Field Study Centre in Ruardean, Gloucestershire.
The building, originally a miner's cottage, was renovated and extended to enable up to 18 children to enjoy a field trip to study a variety of historical, scientific, geographical and natural topics and to learn a bit about themselves. Away from home for the first time for many, Oakdale provided a growing up experience and a chance for teachers to see a completely different side to their pupils, and vice-versa.
Nature walks in the forest, visits to bird reserves, stone quarries and underground visits to coal mines were but a few of the experiences. Castles of the Welsh borderland, local animal markets, railways and Brunel's steamships, vied along with the Jubilee Maze ,Cardiff Welsh Folk Museum and the Brecon Beacons for the most popular and most visited venues.
Over the thirty years that the building was owned by Polehampton Junior School Field Study Trust, nearly 2000 children enjoyed the experience of staying there. The first visits took place in the summer of 1972 and the last in the Autumn of 2000. Such experiences do not fade away, they are impressed into memory banks to be revisited at leisure for the rest of your life.
The upkeep of the house over the years relied on staff and parents who gave their time freely to maintain the property, local residents also kept an eye on the property for the school and provided invaluable assistance. Unfortunately, with changing times, the house could not continue to be run as it was and became less of an asset; a decision was therefore made for the house to be sold. The David George Field Study Trust was set up to manage the proceeds generated from the sale of Oakdale. The Trustees ensure that, through careful investment, Polehampton Junior School pupils continue to benefit from all the new experiences provided by field trips, through allocating funds from the ongoing interest generated from the investment. Our children can now enjoy and learn from activities funded by these subsidies every year.
For more details on the operation of this charity, please see their entry on the Charity Commission Website.