What the Forestry Commission offers at Alice Holt Forest and in the Forestry Commission's South District
The South England learning teamoffers a wide range of educational activities for schools and other groups at Alice Holt Forest throughout the year. We also provide resources and ideas for self-guided visits. Our programmes enable pupils to explore the nation's forests and to understand how they are managed to provide recreation, diverse habitats and economic benefit.
There are lively, hands-on activities for all ages which include minibeast hunts, sensory activities, orienteering and shelter building. We also offer study programmes for GCSE and post-16 courses and training in outdoor learning for education professionals.
Whether you choose to lead your own visit using our resources (see left hand menu) or take part in a guided visit programme it would really help us to have your opinions. You can let us know how about your visit by completing this online feedback form.
The learning team is proud to have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge in 2010 and plan to apply, along with other districts for a national accreditation of Forestry Commission learning opportunities.
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:
For further information please get in touch using the contact information opposite.
Self-guided educational visits are a great alternative to our guided programmes and you are welcome 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; give you the opportunity to benefit from reduced coach parking charges; and make you aware of any other activities in the forest which may affect your visit.
PLans are afoot for more resources to help you run your own visits. In the meantime you might find the following (and the rainforest resources below) useful. For Primary Schools, the easy-access Discovery Trail with its accompanying Active Kids Extra is a popular self-guided option.
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.
Sky Rainforest Trail
The Sky Rainforest Trail is a new trail at Alice Holt Forest which looks at the problems facing the Amazon Rainforest and compares it with the sustainably managed forests in this country. We have produced detailed primary and secondary school resources for teachers to help them make effective use of the Rainforest Discovery Trail to support curriculum-based work. They include practical activities, questions and information. To be emailed a copy of these resources please contact Kathleen Gradidge or Helen Wallace.
If you are interested in learning opportunities in other forests in the district (Hampshire, Surrey, West Sussex, Dorset, Wiltshire and Isle of Wight), please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that guided visits are currently only available at Alice Holt Forest, Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Queen Elizabeth Country Park and in the New Forest (please contact the New Forest National Park for these).
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.
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. If you book in advance you will be charged at reduced rates.
We are always keen to work with educational partners to offer learning opportunities to a wider audience at Alice Holt Forest and other Forestry Commission woodlands. If you are an environmental education business or organisation, including volunteer organisations, wishing to expand your educational work and operate from new sites we would like to hear from you.
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 01420 23666 or email Helen Wallace.