The Violet Turaco, Musophaga violacea; with open wings the scarlet of the flight-feathers is striking. Not wholly dependent on climax forest but certainly typical of it – the reason the bird was chosen locally for the logo of Farasuto Forest Community Nature Reserve

Education potential of the Farsuto Forest

At the public meeting on 20 January, when John Tucker put forward his proposal to help the village secure a future by helping prepare a management plan, the issue of education was raised. John Marriott, on holiday in the Gambia and at the meeting to show support for the proposals, raised the issue of the children of the village who were not at the meeting. John suggested to the women present that passing on the message about the importance of the conservation of the nature reserve was, in effect, their duty and the response was an overwhelming and hugely heartening tide of agreement, clearly evident even through the language barrier.

Also at the meeting was Jon Hughes, again there to support the proposals. Jon has recently (early 2009) moved to become resident in the Gambia and he is keen to help at Farasuto, particularly with education work there. For some time this may simply be a case of organising visits to the reserve by school children from Kuloro. Later, provided the facility can be provided without compromising the conservation objectives, there might be a visitor centre/classroom along with guided walks.

The proposed Management Plan will examine the feasibility of the development of provision for visiting groups, not least their costs and, it is hoped, seek funding for the appropriate level of facilities.

Provided that increased visitor numbers do not threaten to compromise the fundamental nature conservation resource at the reserve then the provision of a high-quality education centre could become a key feature of the site.


Our mini poster for your educational use Download PDF for printing

You may use this A4 sized mini poster for educational purposes, it could even be used to colour-in.




John visited the local junior school on 23 April and he members of the KBC, presented the headmaster with a famed copy of the colour painting of the nature reserve’s logo bird, the Violet Turaco – as in the photograph. The head was very appreciative of the gift and keen to work with the KBC to ensure that the children are made aware of both their local forest and of the wider environmental implications of its conservation.



The Kuloro school head receiving the framed Violet Turaco gift is keen to work with the KBC and to ensure that the children are made aware of environmental conservation implications



The school currently has a massive 1,069 pupils on the roll – a few of them can be seen on this photograph