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

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 may not be Ray Mears or Bear Grylls...but we can offer an enjoyable and very active introduction to some basic survival skills.

The nature of the activities needs to be discussed beforehand with you because they will vary according to the site chosen, the age and the ability of the group, the weather and the time of day.

It could include shelter building and fire making, and at present this package is best suited to Irchester and Fermyn Woods Country Parks.

​Through school assemblies, class projects or by going into your familiar school grounds, the education rangers can help you discover the natural world that is just the other side of your classroom window.

Please do enquire about the bespoke packages we can offer.

If you are part of a group looking for an 'illustrated talk' then perhaps we can help.

Plants and animals, big or small, do not live in isolation: you will be provided with the necessary equipment to become a real nature detective, starting 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.

Youngsters may want to design their own mini habitats whilst considering simple ecological principles.

A mini beast safari and/or pond dipping can be incorporated into this package.

​On the safari you will hunt down the smaller creatures that live under logs, round the trees, in the grass, even in the soil, using a range of equipment.

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

This activity can easily be incorporated with the 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 will open up.

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

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

We have permanent courses at some of our parks and we can easily set a temporary course suitable for your group.

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.

*New* Nursery, reception, key stage 1 'map skills nature trail', 'red mountain map skills trail', 'dinosaurs and eggs', 'Ranger Rex'. These are designed to develop prerequisite orienteering skills and fit in with current geography objectives at Irchester Country Park.

We also have a reception and key stage 1 'map skills nature trail' for Barnwell.

​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. 

​This activity is well suited to a backwater of the River Nene at Barnwell Country Park where a broad meander around the park provides excellent bank side access.

The activity will include measuring river flow as well as sediment studies etc. 

All potential activities, approaches and outcomes do need to be discussed fully with the education ranger.

​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, 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 followed by a blind-folded trail.

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 activity session, easily adaptable for all ages and abilities, you will discover nature through your senses.

​If you are looking for fun, outdoor experiences to improve integration and communication skills of young people then you need to look no further.

The 'small group' team challenge is based around simple scenarios using 'props' we provide. These will bring out hidden qualities and encourage new relationships.

Team building activities can be organised in any of our 5 country parks, or even at your own site.

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

​Sywell and Brixworth Country Parks are both located at water reservoirs.

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

Brixworth has access to the water's edge of Pitsford Reservoir. (Permission to visit the water works buildings and other structures would require agreement from Anglian Water.)

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

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

All ranges of age and abilities are catered for with our hands on approach and will enable youngsters to start to answer these and other questions.

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
Working with one Ranger ​£4.00 ​£75.00
Working with two Rangers ​£6.00 ​£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)  ​£15.00 ​£150.00
​Room available for hire

How to book

Contact us to book

Alternatively, you can phone 0300 126 5936.

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