The other pages tell you what the children and students can learn and how much fun they can have. This page tells you about the practical arrangements you can make and about how we run the visits.
The First Step
Please contact us to discuss your requirements and we will make a provisional booking over the phone. Booking is required for both led and self-guided visits. We will then send you a booking form which includes information about respective responsibilities and some health and safety advice. You will need to complete and return the form to confirm your booking. If you are a Primary teacher booking a led visit you can request a Powerpoint CD to use with the children in preparing them for the visit. It also has lots of suggestions for follow up work which we hope you will find helpful. School groups booking led visits will be provided with parking permits free of charge. Self-guided groups will be required to pay to park but reduced rates apply to all advance educational bookings.
You are welcome to visit Alice Holt Forest at any time to check the site and undertake a risk assessment. We can also arrange to meet you to discuss the details of your visit if you think this would be helpful to you. This way we can find out more about your class to help us plan a programme to suit your requirements and answer any questions you might have. You'll find us 4 miles south of Farnham just off the A325.
Timing and Charges
School and college visits normally start at 10 am and finish at 12 noon or 2.30 pm. For full day visits we allow between 30 and 45 minutes for lunch. The price for a visit is £4 per child for a half day and £8 per child for a full day with minimum charges of £80 and £160 respectively per class (i.e. per group led by one Forestry Commission leader).The only exception is our Saxon Day which requires considerably more resources than other programmes. This costs £8.50 per child.
Pupils are asked to put all their belongings into one of the classrooms where they will be safe for the day. Primary classes are then given 5 -10 minutes to look at and touch the displays around the room before receiving a short introduction to the day. Older groups will start their session with an introductory briefing. There are toilets available at the classroom and at the nearby Forest Centre. After the introduction everyone goes out into the woods to get active and learn something.
It is very helpful if Primary School children are organised into groups and know which adult is responsible for them before they arrive. Depending on the chosen programme, it is often helpful for older students to know their groups in advance of the visit. This will be indicated at the booking stage. The number of accompanying adults needed is largely dependent on the age of the pupils but for Team Tactics and some other sessions it is helpful to have at least one adult for every 8 or 9 pupils/students whatever their age.
Lunchtime and sustainability
Lunch is eaten at or near the classroom with shelter available in our picnic shelter and, if numbers necessitate, in one of the classrooms. Groups eat outdoors unless the weather is too cold or wet for this. Everyone needs to bring a packed lunch and we ask that you encourage your pupils to bring lunches in reusable containers with a minimum of packaging - NOT DISPOSABLE LUNCHES IN PLASTIC BAGS. We have recycling bins and a composting system and are trying to encourage sustainable living and responsibility for the environment. ALL OTHER WASTE SHOULD BE TAKEN HOME as we do not have a regular refuse collection.
Please could you also remind children and students to switch off lights and turn off taps when they have finished with them.
Usually, after lunch everyone goes back out into the woods for more activities, returning to the classroom in time to collect belongings and be ready to leave at the agreed time.
Smoking is actively discouraged but, for those old enough to do so, it is permitted only in the classroom car park and away from young children.