The Nature Discovery Centre
For our policy on school bookings during the coronavirus pandemic please see our Covid update.
A journey of learning and discovery at the Nature Discovery Centre
New for 2021 – Wild Live Virtual School Trips
Education programmes for Primary Schools
A skilled education team will lead your day and engage children’s heads, hearts and hands.
Imaginative activities offer links with Early Learning Goals, science and geography and give opportunities for developing literacy and numeracy skills.
A beautiful reserve teeming with wildlife. The lakes, woodlands, grassland and reedbeds are a fascinating place to visit year-round. With high quality indoor and outdoor spaces, sessions are enjoyable, inspiring, exciting and fun.
What you need to know when you visit
- We offer fully-led days for pre-booked groups year round.
- Trips usually run from 10am – 2.30pm but timings can be flexible.
- We request a donation of £8 per child (or £5 for half-day programmes), adults are free.
- Minimum donation of £180 per class (£120 for half day sessions). Please note it may not be possible for us to accommodate requests for half day sessions in our peak periods.
An amazing trip which is brill for KS2 Science
Teddy Bears' Woodland Adventure - EYFS and Lower KS1
Children are invited by Teddy Edward to bring their teddies for an adventure in the woods and learn the secrets of how wild animals survive. Put on a teddy disguise and help save the trees from the woodcutter! Exciting, hands-on activities build confidence in being outdoors and help children understand the needs of life. Create a rainbow teddy using the colours of the woodland!
Sensational Senses - Reception and KS1
Experience the world through the eyes, noses, ears and paws of different animals. Discover how moles find their way in the dark and learn about sparrowhawks’ keen eyesight. Find out about badgers’ brilliant sense of smell and foxes’ fantastic hearing. Take part in a sensory scavenger hunt or ‘Nature’s Theatre’. Hold baby insects to see their unusual sense organs close up!
Spectacular Seasons - Reception and KS1
Choose from Spring into Spring, Summer Fun and Getting Ready for Winter. Learn about the cycle of the seasons and the important changes taking place in the natural world. Explore through fun games, hands-on activities, role play and art, ways in which animals and plants adjust to the ever-changing environment.
Mini-beast Marvels - Early Years, KS1 and KS2
Meet a medley of mini-beasts and learn what makes them different from the other animals at the Nature Discovery Centre.
Options for Early Years include: bug hunts, stories, learning to care for the little creatures, counting mini-beast body parts and creative fun.
KS1 and KS2 options include: invertebrate identification (keys), lifecycles, pollination, food chains and adaptations.
Habitat Safari - Upper KS1 and KS2
Go on a habitat safari walk to discover the many different habitats that animals are suited to live in. Get first-hand experience of the creatures that live in the Nature Discovery Centre’s varied habitats. Catch mini-beasts in the meadow with sweep nets, use bug-hunting kits in the woodland and go pond-dipping. Learn how to identify and name your catch!
Fantastic Plants - KS1 and KS2
Learn about the life cycle of plants. Explore the woodland to find seeds and discover how they are dispersed; make a paper plant pot and sow seeds to watch them grow at school; dissect flowers to find eggs and pollen, then dress up as a bee to pollinate a flower. The session also introduces tree identification using charts and keys.
Water World - Upper KS1 and KS2
Discover a world of wetland creatures and watery features exploring the lakes, streams and pond. Children can enjoy an exciting walk between lake and stream, exploring ‘the journey of a river’. Find footprints in Butterfly Lake to identify which animals use and live in the water world. Scientific investigations in Cold Ash stream include velocity, temperature and kick sampling.
11 out of 10! I had a great time.
Booking a trip is easy!
- Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01628 829574 ext. 214
- Please state you would like to visit the Nature Discovery Centre when you call/leave a message.
- Discuss your topic choices and confirm the date/s with us.
- We’ll email out your booking pack, containing a booking form, risk assessments and location map.
- Complete the booking form and send it back to us before you visit.
Where to find us
We are located between Thatcham and Newbury, a short distance off the A4 at:
Nature Discovery Centre, Muddy Lane, Lower Way, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3FU
Download a map and directions
Free Go Wild Guide
Whether you live in a town or the country there are new wildlife experiences waiting to be discovered right on your doorstep. Our Go Wild Guide is packed with exciting activities to get your children outdoors.
More ways to discover and learn
From planning a group visit to joining one of our wildlife clubs, there are lots of ways for young people to discover wonderful wildlife in our three counties.