Environmental Education in Hounslow’s Parks
- What Do We Offer?
- Our Countryside Sites
- Our Ranger-led Activities
- Contact Us / Book a Visit
- Health and Safety
**Teacher-led visits to our sites**
If you are thinking of carrying out your own teacher-led visit to one of our parks you are welcome to do so. All we ask is that you notify us prior to your visit and tell us what you are planning to do. We may be able to give advice about suitable areas or activities. Please ensure that you have adequate insurance and health and safety documents for your visit and please do not harm the park’s wildlife or its habitats.
The varied habitats of Hounslow’s countryside sites are a fantastic resource for outdoor environmental education.
The Countryside Education team has developed a programme of practical activities that are appropriate for groups of all ages and abilities. Our environmental education programme is designed to provide an interesting, fun and hands-on nature experience for all.
- To raise awareness about the countryside and local environment.
- To promote a greater understanding of wildlife and habitats.
We can host a variety of groups:
- Guide and Scout Association groups
- Youth groups
- Interest groups, clubs and societies
- Community organisations
- Playgroups and play-schemes
- Tailor-made education visits to suit your individual needs and time scale; you can mix and match from a variety of activities to cover a range of topics.
- Practical activities that link to National Curriculum objectives (activities can also be used in the attainment of Scout Association badges or go towards DofE awards)
- Experienced and knowledgeable CRB checked Countryside Rangers
- Provision of scientific field equipment and other resources
- Assistance to teachers/leaders in completing risk assessments for their visit
Our Education Rangers can lead all or part of your visit. We can also facilitate visits led by your own staff. Bring your group along for an exciting day of discovery and learning in a safe, outdoor environment.
The sites most commonly used for group visits are Bedfont Lakes Country Park and Hounslow Heath Local Nature Reserve, although we can run education sessions in other parks and green spaces within Hounslow Borough or at your own setting if you wish (please call us to discuss visits to settings).
Facilities for at Bedfont Lakes Country Park
- Information Centre with space for storing lunchboxes and room for small groups to eat lunch
- Toilet facilities (including disabled toilet)
- Car park with coach parking
- Children’s play areas and picnic tables
- Recreational grassland suitable for games
- Disabled access and wheelchair user friendly paths
- A variety of habitats including lakes, meadows, woodland, scrub and reed beds
- Bird hides and screens
For more information about Bedfont Lakes Country Park:
Facilities at Hounslow Heath Local Nature Reserve
Car park with coach parking
Recreational grassland - suitable for games
A variety of habitats including heathland, woodland, acid grassland, meadows and scrub
For more information about Hounslow Heath Local Nature Reserve:
At Bedfont Lakes, lunch can be eaten on benches outside the Information Centre or on the grass.
At Hounslow Heath we have no undercover/classroom area so lunch must be eaten outside.
We do not have facilities to prepare food but lunchboxes and bags can be stored in the Information Centre at your own risk at Bedfont Lakes only.
Below is a list of ranger-led activities that we can offer to schools and other groups throughout the year. Our flexible programme allows you to choose which activities you would like to include in your visit to best suit your curricular objectives and timescale. Any combination of activities is possible (time dependent) and we will design a programme for the day based on your choices.
For example, a popular combination of activities for a KS1/2 science-based day visit may include two ‘long’ activities (e.g. Pond Dipping and Minibeast Habitat Hunt) and one or two ‘short’ activities (e.g. Sensory Activities).
• Pond Dipping (Science: KS1, 2 and 3; and worksheet downloads) >
• Minibeast Habitat Hunt (Science: KS1, 2 and 3; and worksheet downloads) >
• Exploring Mammals (Science: KS1, 2 and 3)
• Wildlife Walk / Wildlife Detectives (numerous topics at all levels)
• Brilliant Bird Beaks (Science: KS2 and 3) (Bedfont Lakes only)
• History of Hounslow Heath (History: KS2) (Hounslow Heath recommended) >
• Land Use History of Bedfont Lakes (Geography: KS2) (Bedfont Lakes only)
• Minibeast Orienteering (Science: KS1 & 2/Geography KS1; worksheet downloads)(Bedfont Lakes only)>
• Orienteering (PE: KS2, 3 and GCSE / Geography: KS1 and 2) (Bedfont Lakes only) >
• Survival Skills Workshop(Cross Curricular for all ages) >
• “What Plants Need” Game (KS1 and 2)
• Scavenger Hunt
• Smelly Cocktails
• Nature’s Colours
• Nature’s Sounds
• Un-nature Trail
• Camouflage Caterpillars
• What’s in the bag?
If worksheets are required for the day we will usually provide teachers with a copy and ask that they bring photocopies on the day.
If you are interested in using any of our sites as a setting for Forest School sessions please contact the Education Ranger to discuss.
If you have any questions about our education programme please do not hesitate to contact us.
Telephone: 0788 741 0811
c/o Bedfont Lakes Country Park
Click here to download the Group Booking Form (.doc). Help with files and downloads can be found here.
To book a visit, please return a completed Group Booking Form to the Education Ranger (please provide a choice of preferred dates). Once we have received your form we will contact you to confirm the date and other details of your visit.
A pre-visit is recommended if you have not previously brought a school group to the site. This is an ideal opportunity to discuss any queries (e.g. risk assessment questions) and go though the booking and programme details.
Charges for ranger-led activities
- £3 per child for a Ranger-led session up to and including 3 hours
- £4 per child for a Ranger-led session more than 3 hours
Please note that there is a minimum charge per visit for school groups:
- £45 for visits up to 3 hours
- £60 for visits over 3 hours
Costs include all field equipment, materials, and Countryside Ranger unless otherwise stated. Payment by cash or cheque on the day is preferred; however we are happy to invoice the school if required.
Heath and Safety is paramount in all our activities. The notes below set out our standards for visiting groups, which are necessary to ensure that groups visiting our sites receive the level of guidance and supervision required for a valuable learning experience.
Please follow relevant guidelines set by your Local Education Authority or parent organisation in relation to off site visits. Schools/organisations have overall responsibility for the safety and well-being of children during their visit, including during ranger-led activities.
Risk assessments - Schools/organisations are responsible for completing their own independent risk assessments for their visits, however we can provide our own risk assessments as guidance. If possible, please provide rangers with a copy of your risk assessment document before your visit.
First aid provision - It is the responsibility of the school or organisation to provide first aid kits and qualified first aiders appropriate to the size of the group. It is the responsibility of the teacher, leader or child's guardian to carry and administer any medication that may be required.
Recommended pupil:adult ratios:
- For children aged up to 5 years - 3:1
- For children aged 6 to 8 years a ratio of 5:1
- For children aged 8 10 12 years ratio of 8:1
- For children aged 12 to 18 years - 10:1
Please do not include the rangers in your ratio.
Discipline - Please be aware that the rangers are not responsible for the discipline of pupils and expect teachers and assistants to maintain control of the group. Should a child pose any danger to the rest of the group, he/she will no longer be allowed to take part in the activity.
Suitable clothing - Our sites are large open spaces with limited shelter. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that children have adequate clothing and appropriate footwear for the activity. Sun hats, sun cream and bottled water is advisable in hot weather. Long trousers are recommended to avoid grazes, scratches and insect bites.
Hand washing - Although it is rare, Weils Disease (passed on from rats’ urine) can be contracted from bodies of water. It is essential that children wash their hands after activities, particularly after pond dipping and before eating, and do not put their fingers near their faces during the activities. You may wish to bring antibacterial hand cleansers or wipes to use between activities.
Cancellation or alteration of activities - Although we appreciate that this may cause inconvenience to the group, the rangers may cancel or alter agreed activities if there are any health and safety concerns or circumstances beyond the rangers’ control. If the school decides to cancel a visit (e.g. due to weather) we ask that teachers let us know as soon as possible and we will be happy to arrange an alternative date.
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