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, Brixworth, Sywell, Irchester 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 such as U3A, W.I. etc.

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 that we offer

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.

We offer an enjoyable and very active introduction to some basic survival skills at Fermyn Woods, Irchester and Brixworth Country Park.

Your group will get the opportunity to test their skills at fire lighting and creating shelters with found materials. To extend their experience we can offer the chance to learn about food and foraging, to identify useful plants and where to find water.

The nature of the activities may vary according to:

  • the site chosen
  • the ages within the groups
  • the groups ability
  • weather conditions
  • the time of day

A pre visit discussion is recommended, this will help to get the best out of your visit.

​Through whole day visits we can help enhance class projects or run activities in your familiar school grounds. Our Education Rangers can help children discover the natural world that is on the other side of your classroom window.  

Please enquire about the bespoke packages we can offer:

countryparks@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Similar to Animal Habitats session, plants and animals do not live in isolation.  With the necessary equipment you will start to discover how plants and animals interact and adapt to their environment. We can investigate a range of habitats including woodland, grassland and water margins. Participants may want to design their own mini habitats whilst considering simple ecological principles.

In the safari at any of the parks you can hunt down the smaller creatures that live under logs,a round the trees, in the grass and even in the soil using a range of different equipment.

You will learn how to identify and respect the importance of the bugs, insects and creepy crawlies of this secret world.

This activity can easily be incorporated with a habitat activity.

​Humans did not invent recycling: nature has been doing it very successfully for millions of years. If you're prepared to get down on your knees and get your hands dirty, then you will discover how. A whole new world of slugs, bugs and bones can be seen.

You never know what may be rotting away, providing food and resources for nature's recyclers.

This activity can be adapted for pupils from the foundation stage up to year 6.

​Cunning running but at your own pace; we have developed orienteering packages for a range of ages, from toddlers to adults.

We have permanent courses at Irchester and Fermyn Woods Country Park and can easily set up a bespoke course suitable for your group at of our country parks.

Control points can be of the traditional orienteering course variety; however, picture clues, brass rubbings or maths based orienteering courses are other popular variations we can provide.

Our courses are successfully adapted for adult or corporate group use.

​What lurks below the surface of the pond?

You can find out about this amazing area of life and death where only the fittest survive, with a very active 'hands-on' pond dipping session.

As well as being great fun, the activity offers scope for a wide range of follow up activities, either at a waterside or back at school.

This activity can easily be linked with the habitat session. 

River detectives is available at Barnwell Country Park, where a broad meander of a backwater of the River Nene provides excellent bank side access around the park. All potential activities, approaches and outcomes do need to be discussed fully with the education ranger prior to visit. Please contact us to arrange a discussion:

countryparks@northamptonshire.gov.uk

​This package is ideally suited to Irchester Country Park where iron stone quarrying has exposed the Jurassic geology and fossils creating a Regionally Important Geology Site (RIGS) and a unique setting.

This session offers an excellent introduction into the world of geology allowing you to look back in time to discover the rocks, soils and fossils that are under your feet.

It may be possible to arrange a visit to the Irchester Iron Stone Railway Museum at the park, on request (Thursdays only), where there are displays on the ironstone quarrying and steam trains used in the extraction of the ore.

This package can be adapted for FS/KS1 with our Ranger Rex trail and activities linked to dinosaurs and eggs for younger children.

​Every feather, leaf, stone and seed has a story to tell and the scavenger hunt sends you off on a hunt to find all manner of natural and unnatural objects in the park.

This activity can be offered as a ranger led session, or as a teacher led session.

Whichever you choose there is a great potential for creative and thoughtful follow up work depending upon the theme(s) chosen.

Items which are discovered can be used for natural art, story telling and memory games.

​There are a wide range of creative and stimulating activities that can be incorporated into a sensory exploration of our country parks.

Have a go at making smelly cocktails using leaves and natural objects, following a blind-folded trail or become a wild creature of the parks. Whatever the season or weather, use all of your senses to really appreciate the environment.

This is an excellent, easily adaptable activity for all ages and abilities. You will discover nature through your senses.

Team building activities allow you to improve integration and communication skills.

Our small group team challenges are based around simple scenarios using props that we provide. These will bring out hidden qualities and encourage new relationships.

Team building activities can be organised in any of our country parks. If you'd prefer, this could be a conservation activity.

We also offer similar packages for adults and corporate groups on enquiry.

Water studies are a great addition to geographical topics on the water cycle and land use.

This activity is carried out at Sywell and Brixworth Country Park, which are both located at water reservoirs.

Sywell Country Park is an Edwardian period water reservoir. Although it no longer supplies drinking water, many of the original waterworks buildings and structures still remain.

Brixworth Country Park has access to the water's edge of Pitsford Reservoir. Permission to visit the water works buildings and other structures at the resivoir requires agreement from Anglian Water. To ask for permission, email info_pitsford@anglianwater.co.uk.

​Plant life can be very seasonal so there is plenty to see and discover whatever the time of year.

Subjects we cover throughout this session are:

  • What a plant is
  • What uses they have
  • What makes them so important, even in our modern sophisticated world

We cater for all ages and abilities with our hands on approach which will enable participants to start to answer these and other questions.

​We offer several fun map skills packages for nursery children right up to KS2 and beyond. These are designed to develop prerequisite orienteering skills and fit in with current geography objectives.

Why not try:

  •  *Shipwrecked or *Bears at Fermyn Woods
  • Red Mountain Challenge, Ranger Rex, Dinosaurs and Eggs or *Nature Quest at Irchester
  • *Treasure Hunt or *Nature Trail at Barnwell

* = May be adapted for other country parks

​This activity is ideal for for FS/KS1. 

Irchester's Ranger Rex will guide the children through activities linked to dinosaurs and eggs. The children will be required to follow picture clues to help identify different dinosaurs using our very own mascot, Ranger Rex.

This activity is available at all of Northamptonshire's Country Parks.

Animals big or small do not live in isolation. You will be provided with the necessary equipment to become a real nature detective and start to discover how animals interact and adapt to their environment.

During your visit you will investigate a range of habitats including woodland, grassland and water margins, and will be guided through the various areas of your chosen park. At each habitat you can look for and identify some of the creepy crawlies and wildlife that live there.

To extend the experience you may want to take the opportunity to make your own mini bug home or hotel to take home with you.

Self led activities

Print the sheets you would like to use:

Prices (until March 2019)

Programmes are tailored for individual schools or group visits.

​Per head ​Minimum charge
One activity ​£4.50 ​£75.00
Two activity sessions ​£7.00 ​£120.00
​Team building, adults age 16+ ​£10.00 ​£120.00
​Team building day (adults corporate) ​£20.00 ​£200.00
​Survival skills, adults (3 hours)  ​£18.00 ​£150.00
Survival skills, children ​£7.50

​£120.00

How to book

Contact us to book

Alternatively, you can phone 0300 126 5936.

Let us know what you think

Please complete our evaluation form to help us improve our activities:

Visitor evaluation form

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A great school trip today at Brixworth Country Park. The children enjoyed an action packed day on our 'Minibeast Safari' and 'Animal Homes' packages....

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Do you work in education (with children or adults) or know someone who does? Do you lead young people? Are you a parent or carer who could share this ...

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