Education Visits & Lectures

Learning Provision at Papplewick Pumping Station

This beautiful place was designed to pump millions of gallons of clean fresh water every day to the rapidly increasing population of industrial Nottingham. It is thanks to the endeavours of The Papplewick Pumping Station Trust, a Registered Charity dedicated to the preservation of the Pumping Station, together with the dedication of many volunteer members of the Papplewick Association that you can still experience the most spectacular, preserved water Pumping Station in the British Isles.

Papplewick Pumping Station was restored over the period 2003 – 2005 through the generous funding of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Biffaward, with further support from English Heritage, Severn Trent Water and the Greater Nottingham Partnership.

Following this extensive restoration, Papplewick Pumping Station once again stands proud as a spectacular example of Victorian craftsmanship and we are keen to engender understanding, enthusiasm and respect for our unique site with the widest possible community.

Our aim is to provide a learning resource for schools, higher and further education colleges, Universities, special interest groups and community groups whilst also providing for the needs and interests of our volunteers and staff.

Papplewick Pumping Station – Our Vision for Learning
‘To create an atmosphere of learning and discovery in which all visitors, staff and volunteers are engaged, enriched and inspired through a range of activities and interaction during their visit or involvement with Papplewick Pumping Station.’

The Get WET Project

The Get WET project is an education project led by the Papplewick Pumping Station Trust and the University of Nottingham and funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, and the University of Nottingham ’s Centre for Advanced Studies, Science Technology and Society Research Priority Group and the School of Education .

The project aimed to promote the importance of water conservation and sustainability. Schools worked with artists and university staff to develop a water curriculum which integrates learning in Science, Geography, History and Literacy.
Children learnt about the importance of water through visual art, creative writing, drama, roleplaying and film making, stimulated by visits to the Pumping Station in steam.

The project ran between 2011 and 2013 and the activities of the project were continually documented. The concepts, ideas and findings of the work have now been assembled together so that teachers from other schools (locally, nationally and internationally) can view and use for their own water themed activities and learning.
The work not only documented what curriculum knowledge the children acquired but also monitored the changes in the children’s attitudes/and/understanding of water and the importance of water conservation.

To view the work produced by the GetWET project, go to

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The Sponsors
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Annual Lecture Series


‘Is there enough for all of us? Global growth, climate change and food security’ presented by Lord Deben

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Dame Barbara Stocking, DBE President, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge and former Chief Executive, Oxfam GB Podcast available to listen here.

‘Water: A Victorian Vision and Today’s Reality’ presented by Lord Deben

The Second Papplewick Lecture was held on 21 November 2012 at the University of Nottingham and presented by Lord Deben, the Chair of the Committee on Climate Change. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the Government on emissions targets, and to report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Lord Deben gave an entertaining and thought provoking talk to a packed audience at the University’s Art Lecture Theatre. To watch the lecture on the Pumping Station’s Youtube channel, click here:


No lecture was given due to illness

‘Wet behind the Engineers’ presented by Adam Hart-Davis

The First Papplewick Pumping Station Annual Lecture, held on 3 November 2010, was hosted by the University of Nottingham and Adam Hart-Davis presented a lively lecture entitled ‘Wet behind the Engineers’.

A digital recording of this lecture in mp3 format (56 Kb) is available to download here:

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