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Outdoor activities for schools and groups

Our country parks offer excellent outdoor environmental activity sessions for all ages which can be easily tailored to meet your needs.

Barnwell, Sywell, Irchester, East Carlton and Fermyn Woods Country Parks all provide education ranger-led sessions for various groups including:

  • playgroups
  • school groups (nursery to sixth form)
  • organisations such as youth clubs, out of school clubs, Scouts, Girl Guides and Brownies
  • adult and community organisations

What we can offer

  • ​Experienced activity leaders
  • Bespoke activity packages
  • Practical and fun hands on sessions
  • Pre-visit discussions and information
  • Assistance with risk assessments
  • Provision of all field equipment and materials
  • Easy access trails
  • Children’s play areas
  • A range of habitats

Ranger-led packages

Bespoke packages

For youth groups, adult organisations and corporate teams we can offer bespoke:

  • team building
  • orienteering
  • basic survival skills
  • conservation activities

Our activities

We offer a variety of activities, listed below are the main themes which will give you an idea of what we can offer.

Each activity is generally based on a class of 30 pupils working with a Ranger (unless otherwise specified). If you are bringing a larger group, we can combine activities. Please bear in mind that moving between sessions takes time and may limit time spent on each activity.

  • Basic survival skills
  • Education rangers come to you
  • Habitats
  • Mini beast safari
  • Nature recyclers
  • Orienteering
  • Pond dipping
  • River detectives
  • Rocks and fossils
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Sensory explorers
  • Team building activities
  • World of plants
  • Map Skills
  • Ranger Rex
  • Animal Habitats
  • Stone Age
  • Water studies

Our Education Ranger led sessions have been tailored to be relevant to national curriculum targets.

Habitats and animal homes

Key Stage 1 Science

  • observing closely, using simple equipment
  • identifying and classifying
  • identify and name a variety of common wild plants
  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
  • identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
  • identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food
  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals for survival (water, food and air)

Lower KS2 Science

  • gather, record, classify
  • record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys
  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things
  • interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey

Upper KS2 Science

  • record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys
  • describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals
  • give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics
  • describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird
  • describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals

Mini beast safari

KS1 Science

  • ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways
  • use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • observe closely, using simple equipment
  • identify and classify
  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
  • identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
  • identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • identify and name a variety of animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food
  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals for survival (water, food and air)

Lower KS2 Science

  • gather, record, classify
  • record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys
  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment

Upper KS2 Science

  • record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys
  • describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including animals
  • give reasons for classifying animals based on specific characteristics

Nature’s recyclers

KS1 Science

  • ask simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observe closely
  • use simple equipment
  • identify and classify
  • use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals for survival (water, food and air)
  • explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive

Lower KS2 Science

  • gather, record, classify
  • record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys
  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things
  • identify that some other animals have skeletons
  • construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey

Upper KS2 Science

  • Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys
  • describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals
  • give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics

Orienteering, map skills and Ranger Rex

KS1 Geography

  • use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical and human features
  • use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language - for example, near and far; left and right, to describe the location of features and routes on a map
  • use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features

KS1 Mathematics

  • solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering

in seeking solutions

KS2 Geography

  • use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps)

Pond dipping

KS1 Science

  • observe closely, using simple equipment
  • identify and classify
  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish and amphibians
  • describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals including fish and amphibians
  • identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
  • identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • identify and name a variety of animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food
  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals for survival (water, food and air)

Lower KS2 Science

  • gather, record, classify
  • record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys
  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey

Upper KS2 Science

  • record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys
  • give reasons for classifying animals based on specific characteristics
  • describe the differences in the life cycles of amphibians and insects
  • describe the life process of reproduction in some animals
  • describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including animals
  • give reasons for classifying animals based on specific characteristics
  • identify how animals are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution

River detectives water studies

KS1 Geography

  • use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical and human features
  • use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features
  • use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of (a local environment) and the key human and physical features

KS1 Science

  • identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including water and rock

KS1 History

  • significant historical places in their own locality

KS2 History

  • a study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality

Lower KS2 Science

  • describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock
  • recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter
  • identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature

Upper KS2 Science

  • use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating
  • identify the effects of water resistance
  • recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago

Rocks and fossils

KS1 Science

  • observe closely, using simple equipment
  • identify and classify
  • identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including rock
  • describe the simple physical properties of everyday materials
  • compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties
  • find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed

Lower KS2 Science

  • gather, record, classify
  • compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties
  • describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock
  • recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter
  • observe that some materials change state when they are heated

Upper KS2 Science

  • recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the

Earth millions of years ago

KS1 Geography

  • use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to physical and human features
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical geographical features and how they change over time
  • use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography and physical features of their surrounding environment
  • use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features

KS2 Geography

  • Name key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
  • describe and understand key aspects of physical and human geography

Sensory explorers and scavenger hunt

KS1 Science

  • Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways
  • observe closely
  • identify and classify
  • use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • identify and name a variety of common wild plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
  • distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made
  • observe changes across the four seasons

Lower KS2 Science

  • ask relevant questions
  • make systematic and careful observations
  • identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • gather, record, classify
  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things

Upper KS2 Science

  • recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases
  • describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and

differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals

Stone Age

KS1 History

  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally

KS2 History

  • changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

KS1 Science

  • identify and name a variety of common wild plants
  • identify and name a variety of plants in their habitats
  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)
  • distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made
  • identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, water, and rock
  • describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials
  • identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood and rock for particular uses

Lower KS2 Science

  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things

Lower KS2 Science

  • identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution

KS1 PSHE

  • to listen to other people, and play and work cooperatively
  • meet and talk with people
  • develop relationships through work and play

KS2 PSHE

  • that their actions affect themselves and others, to care about

other people’s feelings and to try to see things from their points of view

  • meet and talk with people – for example, people who work in the neighbourhood
  • develop relationships through work and play

Survival skills

KS1 Science

  • identify and name a variety of common wild plants
  • identify and name a variety of plants in their habitats
  • find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)

Lower KS2 Science

  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things

KS1 Geography

  • key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather
  • use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language
  • for example, near and far, left and right, to describe the location of features and routes on a map

KS1 PSHE

  • to listen to other people, and play and work cooperatively
  • meet and talk with people
  • develop relationships through work and play

KS2 PHSE

  • that their actions affect themselves and others, to care about other people's feelings and to try to see things from their points of view
  • meet and talk with people – for example, people who work in the neighbourhood
  • develop relationships through work and play

Team building

English (spoken language years 1 to 6)

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas

KS1 Mathematics

  • solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

KS1 PSHE

  • to listen to other people, and play and work cooperatively
  • meet and talk with people
  • develop relationships through work and play

KS2 PSHE

  • that their actions affect themselves and others, to care about other people's feelings and to try to see things from their points of view
  • meet and talk with people – for example, people who work in the neighbourhood
  • develop relationships through work and play

World of plants

KS1 Science

  • ask simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observe closely
  • identify and classify
  • use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees
  • identify and name a variety of common wild plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees
  • distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made
  • observe changes across the four seasons
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants

Lower KS2 Science

  • ask relevant questions
  • make systematic and careful observations
  • identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • gather, record, classify
  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers
  • explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant
  • investigate the way in which water is transported within plants
  • explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things

Upper KS2 Science

  • describe the life process of reproduction in some plants
  • describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms and plants

 

Prices

Programmes are tailored for individual schools or group visits.

ProgrammePer headMinimum charge
One activity​£4.50£85
2 activity sessions​£7£135
​Team building, adults age 16+​£10£120
​Team building day (adults corporate)£20£200
​Survival skills - adults (3 hours)£18​£150
Survival skills - children£7.50​£120

Our Ranger-led outdoor environmental activities are intended to be great fun as well as a great learning experience.

Our aim is to help people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds participate in enjoyable hands on activities that:

  • increase enjoyment, understanding and care for the country parks and the wider natural environment
  • foster an awareness of sustainability through the study of habitats, plants and animals, their life processes, ecosystems and of how our own actions affect the environment in which we live
  • support the national curriculum and encourage participation in extra-curricular activities and extended services
  • encourage healthy outdoor activity

However, to help keep your group completely safe from the hazards posed by the natural world, please make sure that you have prepared your group using the simple precautions below. We will reinforce these messages on the day of your visit.

  1. Please ensure your group comes prepared with closing suitable for the activity, weather and terrain they are likely to encounter
  2. Please ensure you have made suitable First Aid provision for your group
  3. Please advise us of any special needs of individuals in your group
  4. Your group will be encouraged to touch plants, soil and even certain creatures; however we ask that they should not eat or drink anything other than their own packed lunch unless given to them by a Ranger
  5. To guard against water-borne diseases such as Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), it is recommended that you check if anyone in your group has an open cut on the hand or forearm as they will not be allowed direct physical contact with the pond/river water - you may wish to cover any other minor closed scratches with waterproof plasters or latex gloves before the activity
  6. There is always the risk that children will encounter stinging or biting insects so please be aware of any particular allergies in your group
  7. Please ask your group not to pet dogs at the park and to be aware that there may be animal droppings around (including dogs)
  8. Please ensure that your group wash their hands with soap and water after the activities (especially before eating or drinking) - there are toilets at the parks but you may wish to bring your own wipes
  9. If anyone develops flu-like symptoms within two weeks of a water-based activity, their doctor should be advised that the person has been in contact with pond/river water

We are confident that if these simple precautions are followed there will be no significant risk to your group from these hugely beneficial activities.

How to book

To book, email [email protected].

Alternatively, you can phone 0300 126 5936.

Last updated 05 July 2022