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Learning in Alice Holt Forest and South England District

What the Forestry Commission offers at Alice Holt Forest and in other forests in the District

Guided visit programmes at Alice Holt are listed under key stage (see left hand menu) and involve lively, hands-on activities for all ages which support curriculum and exam course learning. We also offer training in outdoor learning for education professionals. 

Guided visits in other locations are offered by partner organisations and details of these are given below under 'Third Party Providers'.

Schools and groups are welcome to visit Alice Holt and other forests in the district for self-guide visits, too, and there are resources available to help you make the most of your visit (see 'Self-guide Educational Visits' below).

Two sites in the district have recently been acredited by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom as ideal sites for self led visits. They are Bolderwood in the New Forest and West Walk in the Forest of Bere near Fareham.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) is the national voice for learning outside the classroom. This award recognises organisations which actively welcome schools onto their site/s for self-led visits and ensure that the sites and any other services provided meet the needs of schools. For more information, please visit

Whichever kind of visit you choose it would really help us to have your opinions after the visit and you can let us know about it by completing our questionnaire online here.

Forest DiscoveryTrail

Don't miss our Discovery Trail along the Habitat Trail at Alice Holt (and at Blackwater in the New Forest). It  has lots of information along with  activities for you to do in the forest and back at home.
There's also a downloadable information sheet at

Children's University

The Forestry Commission is supporting the Children's University (CU) in encouraging children to get out into forests, have fun and learn about them in their own time.
Children who join the Children's University receive a passport and get it stamped for every CU activity they take part in. 
Alice Holt, Moors Valley and the New Forest are ideal places to do activities which will count for the passport.
As well as resources on the Children's University website many of the activities run by the Forestry Commission and their partners count towards CU awards. For more details about CU you can find information at or visit the Children's University website.

Guided visits

Alice Holt Forest 

We plan our education programmes to meet teachers' specified learning objectives. We assess student progress throughout the visit, adapting delivery and content to suit the audience. Details of the educational programmes available are organised by age group:

Our Early Years programmes are delivered by our partner Wild Learning

In other locations

Listed below are our current learning partners, offering a range of learning opportunities in the forest district (Hampshire, Surrey, part of West Sussex, Dorset, Wiltshire and Isle of Wight). The number of partners has grown over the last year and we expect it to increase futther

If you would like to make use of a site over a period of time to run your own programme of activities e.g. Forest School, you will normally need a permit to do so. Please contact us to discuss your plans by emailing

New Forest 

Wild Heritage offers a range of learning opportunities for schools and other groups. For more information please visit , email or telephone 01590 612766.

New Forest National Park
For information about learning offered by the National Park please visit


Moors Valley Coutry Park
For information about learning at Moors Valley please visit or telephone 01425 470721.


Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Hampshire County Council runs educational visits in this forest. For more information please visit

Isle of Wight

Parkhurst Forest and Firestone Copse
Wood Learn Forest School runs forest school sessions for school age children and young people from Reception to Yr 13.
For more information please visit ,
email or telephone 01983 246986 or 07710 324868.

Bouldner Forest

The Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust offers a range of educational activities. For more information please contact

Self-guide educational visits

These are a great alternative to our guided programmes and there's also the option to run a self-guided afternoon after a guided morning session. If you are planning a self-guided visit please get in touch beforehand so we can help you get the most out of your visit and make you aware of any other activities in the forest which may affect your visit.

We are steadily adding to our suite of downloadable learning resources to help you get the most from your own visits. To find them please click on Resources in the left hand menu. There's also a link there to more resources on our FC England national learning pages.

Learning feedback

Monitoring and evaluation is important to help us maintain our high standards and to meet both our own objectives and those of the groups with whom we work.

We evaluate our own performance after each visit and we value feedback from teachers and group leaders. We have two primary channels for providing feedback, our online survey and local site questionnaires for primary and secondary school visits. Teachers and group leaders are invited to discuss all aspects of their visit, including assessment and evaluation before they bring their groups.

Parking at Alice Holt Forest

Parking is free of charge for visits led by Alice Holt staff but parking charges apply to self-guided educational visits.

Teachers, early years professionals and student teachers

Do you want to do more outdoor teaching and make better use of your school grounds but don’t know where to start? We can help.

The Alice Holt education team runs CPD for teachers, school support staff and early years practitioners and training days for student teachers. We run courses for early years practitioners and primary school staff which include hands on experience of a range of activities with cross-curricular application, discussion of the benefits of outdoor learning and a look at risk assessment. For secondary schools we offer training for geography fieldwork and aspects of citizenship, particularly appropriate for NQTs and non-specialist teachers. We can provide a course especially for your school or setting staff (or for staff from a group of schools or settings)  at Alice Holt Forest or a Forestry Commission woodland near you. 

Alternative educational setting placements are also available to student teachers. For more information and booking please ring 0300 067 4446 or email

For further information on CPD and on student teacher placements see: continuing professional development and training for student teachers .

Whether you choose to lead your own visit or take part in a guided visit programme, there are plenty of opportunities for learning at Alice Holt and at other locations for all ages.
Last updated: 7th March 2016


Recreation Officer
0300 067 4448

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.