Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Early Years & Primary Visits

An outdoor learning session with Somerset Wildlife Trust is a perfect way to get connected with nature & bring learning to life. We offer a range of sessions linked to the curriculum for Early Years, Key Stage 1 & 2 classes. We aim for all young people to come away having experience the natural world in a fun, hands on and engaging way.  

Want an outdoor session to match your theme or learning objectives on one of our reserves or in your school grounds? We are happy to plan a day to meet your requirements.

During 2016 we are in the process of reviewing the way the Trust offers its Schools Visits Programme (where schools can book in a visit or plan an certain activity on our ‘menu’ to suit their needs).  This means that temporarily we will be unable to offer this programme to schools. We hope that this will change in the near future, so please keep checking back to this page.

As usual though we will continue to run a number of Key Stage linked educational activities and events as part of our ongoing project work, and within our broader events programme which will involve work with a number of schools within the county.

Please find below some example programmes:

Early Years (Pre-school and Reception)

centipede

Bird adventure trail

Can you build a gigantic bird's nest ready for a story, find camouflaged creatures and discover the minibeasts available as bird food? Fun games and hands on activities to understand the lives of birds and what all animals need to live. Duration 2.5hrs

Bear

Teddy Bears Picnic

Oh no; our bear has gone missing. Luckily he left a trail of  paw prints for us to follow. Can you complete the sensory challenges, learn why wildlife depends on all five senses and find the bear? Duration 2.5hrs

Key Stage 1

bug in plate

Living Things and Their Habitats

What do plants need to grow? Where do woodlice live? What does a hazel leaf look like? Through interactive games and hands on activities you will explore a variety of habitats, learn all about plants and trees in our nature reserves and use guides and keys to identify a range of different minibeasts in different habitats. Duration: 2.5 hrs Note: This session includes pond dipping but only on some sites.

Download lesson plan
Bluebells Watch

Nature Explorers

Sharpen your senses and become a nature explorer for the day. Use all your senses to discover the hidden world of a nature reserve through touch, smell, sight and sound. Using games and activities we will bring the nature reserve to life and gain an understanding of the way wildlife depends on all the senses for survival. Duration: 2.5 hrs

Download lesson plan
DSC 0120 credit Emma Bradshaw web

Marvellous Meadows

Visit the wonderful wild flower meadows of Chancellors Farm, high up on the Mendip Hills. Learn to identify some common flowers and trees, discover the old orchard and explore the history of the farm and how it is looked after as a nature reserve today. Duration: 2.5 hrs. 

Download lesson plan
Orchard - credit Ross Hoddinott

Orchard Investigation

Where does our food come from? Orchards are part of the Somerset landscape and provide not only apples but an unique habitat for a range of amazing wildlife. Join us for an orchard investigation and learn all about what makes these special places such great homes for wildlife.Duration: 2.5 hrs. Find out more.

Download lesson plan

 

Key Stage 2

Activities main page

Living Things and Their Habitats

Using the habitats and living things on our nature reserves, we will bring science to life. Through activities, games and investigation you will learn to group and classify living things, use id charts and keys to identify wildlife and explore the different microhabitats on our reserves. Duration: 2.5 hrs

Download lesson plan
Compass

Geography Skills

Can you find your way around a nature reserve without getting lost? In the Geography Skills session you will use maps, compasses and GPS units to navigate around a nature reserve, follow a trail and work as a team to find some hidden geocaches. Duration: 2.5 hrs

Download lesson plan
Wildlife Watch Autumn retangle credit T.Marshall

Nature Explorers

Sharpen your senses and become a nature explorer for the day. Use all your senses to discover the hidden world of a nature reserve through touch, smell, sight and sound. Using games and activities we will bring the nature reserve to life and gain an understanding of the way wildlife depends on all the senses for survival. Duration: 2.5 hrs

Download lesson plan
ubley-jake-chant2

Mining on Mendip

Go back in time and discover the hidden past of the Mendip Hills. Explore the remains of Roman, Medieval and Victorian lead mining, interpret the evidence left in the landscape and investigate the lives of the people that worked there. Through games, activities and exploration we will bring the past back to life and highlight the importance of the local area within key periods of History. Duration 2.5 hrs

Download lesson plan
Primary main page

Marvellous Meadows

Visit the wonderful wild flower meadows of Chancellors Farm, high up on the Mendip Hills. Learn to identify some common flowers and trees, discover the old orchard and explore the history of the farm and how it is looked after as a nature reserve today. Duration: 2.5 hrs. 

Download lesson plan
Apples on branch - credit Somerset County Council

Orchards

Where does are food come from? Traditional orchards are part of the Somerset landscape and provide not only apples but also an unique habitat for wildlife. Join us on an orchard investigation to find out all about why these special places provide such great homes for wildlife. Duration: 2.5 hrs. Find out more.

Download lesson plan
Common Shore Crab at Gore Point by Nigel Phillips

Rocky Shores

Somerset's coast is alive with a whole host of exciting and inspiring wildlife. Join us for a day on the coast and learn to identify some common wildlife using ID charts, discover why the coast is so important and explore the rockpools and strandline of the seashore. Duration: 2.5 hrs.

 

Download lesson plan

Seasonal Sessions

Why not join us for 4 free seasonal sessions: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and discover how the nature reserve changes through the year.  *                                                                                                                                                                                         *Limited spaces available so please book soon to avoid disappointment. These sessions are available at  Westhay, Black rock and Ubly Warren.

looking at map

Spring into Action

Find out the gruesome truth about some of the creatures living on our reserves. Which invertebrate, when threatened by a bird, drops a leg, leaves it twitching as a distraction then makes a quick exit? Are the trees dead and what happened to all the seeds and nuts? Play interactive games, and carry out hands on activities including a survey of the invertebrates with simple keys or eco-orienteering around the site to discover more about trees and animals in Spring. Duration 2.5hrs.

 

 

Freshwater discovery

Sizzling Summer Adventure

More gruesome truths as we explore the ditches and waterways to find out which creatures can breathe through their bottoms and what amazing changes take place during their lifecycles. Play a game to learn about adaptations and find out how the different invertebrates are adapted to their habitats. Find out what wildlife is making our nature reserves an exciting place to visit this Summer. Duration 2.5hrs

 

Wildlife Watch Autumn credit T.Marshall

Action Packed Autumn

Can you make a wizard's potion or capture autumnal colours on an artists pallet. How does Autumn feel and smell? Is it full of leaf fireworks? Join us for a wild adventure walk and learn how animals use their senses as we use ours to explore and discover what the autumnal countryside has to offer. Duration 2.5hrs.

 

campfire

Winter Warmer

Can you survive the winter on a nature reserve? Join us to sharpen your survival skills, build a den and find out how our furry and feathered friends survive the winter. They probably don't get hot chocolate and marshmallows - but you do! Duration 2.5hrs

 

 

Our Sites

Our sessions are delivered on our nature reserves across the county. These range from woodlands to wetlands and provide fantastic places for children to discover and explore the natural world. To see a map of the nature reserves and find one close to you, click here.

We aim to be as flexible as possible so if you would like a visit to a different site or covering a different topic from those listed above, please get in touch and we will do our best to plan a session around your requirements. 

We also lead session at Fyne Court on behalf of the National Trust and Hestercombe Gardens. If you are interested in a visit to Fyne Court, please contact us, if you are interested in a visit to Hestercombe Gardens please contact them direct by visiting Hestercombe Gardens website.

Visit our nature reserve page
 

Our Charges

Our sessions last approximately half a day but can be combined together to form a whole day visit if required. Sessions are charged per half day (approx 2.5 hours), based on a class of 30 children. If you would like a shorter or longer session or a visit with more than one class, we are able to help. Please contact us for more information.

Half day session (2.5 hrs) to Somerset Wildlife Trust site       £100
Half day session (2.5 hrs) to Fyne Court £125
Visit to Westhay Moor, Ubley Warren or Black Rock Free

 

Free Opportunities

Thanks to funding through Natural England, we can offer free visits to a 3 of our wonderful nature reserve, Black Rock, Westhay Moor and Ubley Warren.

We can also offer free visits to a number of Orchard sites in South Somerset and Sedgemoor, funded through Somerset County Council. Find out more about the orchard visits here

All these visits are limited in number so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.

 

Photo credits: Claire Mountjoy, Ross Hoddinott, Somerset County Council, Monkey Do, Jake Chant and T Marshall