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Schools and Education Facilities

Schools and Environmental Education
Schools can play a very important part in the Biodiversity Action Plan process. Some schools have wildlife areas in their grounds and some have the potential to create some. Local Schools can get advice and environment workshops from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Groundwork.
There are very often limited opportunities for teachers to deliver some aspects of environmental education within the school. There are however, a number of organisations within Derbyshire who deliver environmental education. There are a number of organisations in the county which can do environmental education, click on the organisations to find out more (see below for more information).

We provide a professional service aimed mainly at Junior and Tertiary levels, using Lathkill Dale.

  • For Juniors we have a range of exciting and imaginative activity days which teach ecology, geology and conservation, keyed into The National Curriculum. Detailed sheets on each of the days offered can be sent out on request.
  • For tertiary groups we offer guided walks which provide detailed information on the local ecology, conservation and management.
  • Charge: Four and a half hours guided day £55 per group.
    A group is 25 students or fewer.
    Group visits should be booked as early as possible at least 1 month in advance.
  • Groups start either at the Monyash end of Lathkill Dale or Over Haddon end and both of these sites have public toilets.
  • Interested Community Groups wishing to help with practical conservation work on The National Nature Reserve or wanting a talk or guided walk should also contact the number below.

For all school group bookings or enquiries relating to Community Groups please contact:

Caroline Thomas
Community Education Manager
Natural England
Peak District and Derbyshire Team
Endcliffe, Deepdale Business Park
Ashford Road
Derbyshire DE45 1GT

Tel: 01629 816640
Or email:


The Peak District National Park Environmental Education Service, working in partnership with the Youth Hostels Association and other partners, aims to increase young people's awareness and understanding of the natural environment and the role they can play in shaping the future.

The Education Service provides young people with opportunities to:
  • safely explore the natural environment;
  • explore a range of environmental topics and issues in an exciting and engaging way;
  • enjoy an educational experience which is supportive and values the individual;
  • discover a greater awareness and understanding of the Peak District National Park.

The Education team encourages young people to appreciate and understand the biodiversity of the Peak District. Below are some examples of the programmes we offer:

Moorland Ecology and Management (GCSE and A-Level)
This unit considers the impacts of both recreation and management by burning on moorland ecology. Students will be introduced to the international importance of moorland habitats and their conservation.

Freshwater Ecology (GCSE and A-Level)
A number of stream sites are studied using biological, chemical and environmental sampling techniques. Students consider the effects of pollutants and other factors on species diversity and abundance.

Woodland (GCSE and A-Level) and Limestone Grassland (A-Level) Ecology also available

Infant Explorers (half day) Key Stage 1
The children are invited to adopt a creature that lives in and around the riverbank in order to become explorers for the day.

Art in the park (standard day) - Key Stage 2
The programme uses art to inspire and challenge children to understand the world, their place in it and the positive contribution they can make to its future. The activities place a particular emphasis on creatures that are special to the Peak District National Park.

Up hill and down Dale (standard or half day) - Key Stage 2
Children get the chance to unravel the mystery of the rocks and landscape from high up on the gritstone moorland to way down in a limestone dale. The programme aims to focus awareness on the diversity of soils, plants, and animals that can be found within the landscape of the Peak National Park.


How to contact us:

The Education Administrator
Losehill Hall

Peak District National Park Authority Centre for Environmental Learning
Hope Valley
S33 8WB
Tel: 01433 620373
Fax: 01433 620346


South Derbyshire Environmental Education Project

Want to learn more about The National Forest? Interested in getting outside to learn more about the environment? Need some advice on using your school grounds? Then get in touch with South Derbyshire’s Environmental Education Project.
The team is based at Rosliston Forestry Centre, part of The National Forest. We have been running activities for 10 years, and recently won a National Green Apple Environmental Award.

The Forestry Centre has extensive facilities including a classroom, sensory garden, a range of habitats, hide and large picnic/play area. The Project has won a DCC GreenWatch Award for its Environmental Education Facilities.

Our activities are designed to be fun, but have a serious message - in order to respect and protect our environment for future generations, we need to understand it.

Rosliston Forestry Centre Environmental Education
A large part of our work is school and other group visits. Activities range from Minibeast hunting, and pond dipping to Nature's Art and Technology, Santa's Workshops and Bees-Means-Buzz-Ness! We will adapt our sessions to your individual groups needs, and other activities are available on request.

We take Health and Safety very seriously. All our activities are risk assessed before we start, and adapted according to any necessary control measures.

We also deliver Wildlife Watch activities for 8 - 14 year olds. We have developed a large number of activities and would be happy to provide advice and information to other environmental club leaders.

We also run events for the public, like the Dawn Chorus Walk and Apple Day and provide information (where possible!) to anyone who needs it. Ring or email your address to us if you would like a public event leaflet.

We provide an outreach service for groups that cannot make it to Rosliston. We could help you explore your local woodlands, or deliver activities in your school ground.

School or other groups can also borrow the 'One World' loans pack. It contains a selection of fun and focussed educational activities for use in new National Forest Woodlands, or your school or club grounds. The pack was developed by a group of graduate trainees from Rolls-Royce, in consultation with local schools. It comes complete with all the equipment you need to use it. The cost is £15 per loan to cover admin.

The charge for our activities is £25 per hour (plus travel time for outreach work). Telephone /email advice is free!

For more details, an education programme or to book your visit, contact Kate Allies or Vicky Smyth on (01283) 535039 or email More information is available on the website.
To find out more about The National Forest, look at their website on or ring 01283 551211.
The Environmental Education Project is part of South Derbyshire District Council, supported by The National Forest Company, Rolls-Royce and East Midlands Development Agency.


For over 20 years the Trust has been working with schools throughout the county to help them bring children closer to the natural environment.

We have taken many school groups onto our nature reserves and shown them the biodiversity to be found there, using imaginative activities to engage them with nature.

We have also successfully involved school groups in practical management work on our reserves over many years. This gives them first hand knowledge of what is involved in looking after the countryside for wildlife.

Our Whistlestop Education and Countryside Centre, opened in 1998, has a classroom and wildlife garden and pond as well as adjoining river and woods. School groups come to take part in a wide range of activities at the Centre, all linked to the national curriculum.

Since 1992 and funded by landfill money, the Trust has been active on the waste minimisation front. We ran ‘The Lunchbox Challenge’ activity at Whistlestop and subsequently two projects at schools. The ‘Countdown to Composting’ project encouraged 70 schools to begin composting and the  ‘Don’t Waste Your Rubbish’ project worked with a small number of schools to help them reduce a wide range of wastes and develop waste strategies.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Trust is running a three year project linking schools to their local nature reserves. Called ‘Making Natural Connections’, this has allowed us to develop sustainable relationships with these schools over an extended period.

We also give advice and support to schools on creating, using and managing nature areas.

The Trust’s junior club, The Watch Club, has over 1500 members who all receive regular newletters and posters produced nationally. In addition the Trust runs some Watch Club Groups and also family activity events in school holidays and half terms.

For more information contact Tim Brooks at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on 01773 881188 e-mail or visit the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust website.

Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire Community Wildspaces Project - Schools Involvement

A key part of Community Wildspaces is about developing Local Nature Reserves as resources for local schools. We aim to link most local schools to a site within walking distance.

As well as leading regular schools visits ourselves, we are keen that schools become confident and able to visit the reserves independently. As part of Community Wildspaces we produce education packs for schools that explain about the sites and list activities that teachers themselves can lead on each of the reserves. These visits help develop the children’s awareness and knowledge of their local natural environment. We back this up by running teacher training events for local primary teachers, helping them develop how best to utilise the natural heritage on their doorsteps.

Pupils from Ripley Junior School working with Groundwork staff
Sessions delivered through the project are primarily aimed at Foundation and Keystage 1&2. Older groups are also catered for, usually on a more vocational basis. At present funding is secured to provide educational visits free for schools, from activities linked to the National Curriculum to one-off events for National Tree Week, Springwatch etc.
For more information contact Gary Wain, Community Wildspaces Officer
on 01773 841566
or e-mail

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