Woolley Firs Environmental Education Centre
For our policy on school bookings during the coronavirus pandemic please see our Covid update.
A journey of learning and discovery at Woolley Firs
New for 2021 – Wild Live Virtual School Trips
Can’t visit one of our education centres for a school trip? Let the BBOWT Education team take you on a virtual journey of learning and discovery and bring our nature reserves to your classroom! Our Wild Live sessions cover science curriculum links according to the Key Stage and learning needs of your class. These virtual sessions are delivered straight to your class and pupils via Zoom* and include a combination of live interaction with our Education Team as well as video clips from our local habitats. Virtually explore our nature reserves and meet some of the creatures that live there.
What you need to know before you book:
*Zoom is the preferred platform for delivery of the sessions. We may be able to accommodate alternative arrangements so please get in touch to discuss.
For more information on available Wild Live sessions and to book please contact the relevant Education team:
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 wonderful setting on a 300 year-old farm and nature reserve, an education centre in a renovated barn full of exciting resources, and fantastic outdoor learning spaces in our woodland and meadows.
Education programmes for Secondary Schools
- Suitable for A or AS level Biology or Environmental Science groups.
- Curriculum mapped, hands on fieldwork experience to suit the requirements of exam boards AQA, OCR, Edexcel A and Edexcel B. (If you are teaching with another exam board please contact us to find out if we can meet your requirements.)
- Flexible modular day allows you to tailor your experience
- Experienced environmental education staff
- Beautiful nature reserves with diverse range of habitats
- Access to a range of fieldwork equipment
- Collect real life data for statistical analysis use back at school
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.
We are located off the A4, three miles west of Maidenhead. A map and directions can be found at the bottom of the page.
- AS and A level trips usually run from 9:30am-3pm but timings can be flexible
- We request a donation of £14 per student for AS and A level
- Free places for accompanying staff
- We are located off the A4, three miles west of Maidenhead. A map and directions can be found at the bottom of the page.
Another fantastic day pitched at exactly the right level for our children
Teddy Bears’ Picnic - EYFS and lower KS1
Children are invited by Teddy Edward to bring their teddies to have 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 what animals need to stay alive. Create a rainbow teddy using the colours of the woodland to take home.
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 sense of hearing. Take part in a sensory scavenger hunt or a production of ‘Nature’s Theatre and hold baby insects to see their unusual sense organs close up!
Minibeast Pick ‘n’ Mix - EYFS, KS1 and KS2
Meet a medley of minibeasts and learn what makes them different from the other animals inhabiting Woolley Firs.
Early Years options include: bug hunts; stories; learning to care for the little creatures; counting minibeast body parts; and creative fun.
Options for KS1 & 2 include: minibeast identification (keys); lifecycles; pollination; food chains; and adaptations.
Habitat Safari - KS1 and KS2
Investigate the creatures that live in Woolley Firs’ pond, meadow and woodland. Search for minibeasts with sweep nets and bug-hunting kits and go pond-dipping. Use field guides and keys to identify and classify your creatures. Learn about life cycles, food chains and the adaptations of animals to these different habitats. Alternatively undertake Nature Detective training – hunt for clues and solve a nature mystery in the woods.
Fancy Plants and Tremendous Trees - KS1 and KS2
Learn about the lifecycle of plants: explore the woodland to find seeds and discover how they are dispersed; make a paper pot and sow seeds (watch them grow at school); learn about the parts of a plant; dissect flowers to find eggs and pollen and then dress up as a bee to pollinate a flower. Take part in the ‘Secret Names of Trees’ identification game using Smartphone keys.
Our Farm: Crops, Seeds, Birds and Bees - Upper KS1 and KS2
Find out about food production on the 300 year-old Woolley Firs farm & discover how the farmer helps wildlife and why wildlife is so important to the farmer. Play ‘farm bingo’ on a guided farm tour. Go bird-spotting, be a bee, see our crops growing and pick your own. Make muesli & see how cooking oil is made. Have a go at worm-charming or meet the minibeasts that live in the farmer’s fields and hedges.
Amazing Adaptations - Upper KS2
Head out for some detective work - search for clues about how Woolley Firs has changed over time – from a tropical ocean to a land trodden by woolly rhinos and now to an arable farm. This investigation provides the basis for a series of hands-on workshops looking at animal and plant adaptations so students can answer questions such as ‘why are sundews sticky? Learn about great tit song – an example of modern-day ‘evolution in action’ and how to ‘ape’ our closest animal cousin – the chimpanzee.
Biology and Environmental Science – A level/AS level
Start the day with an introduction to The Wildlife Trusts and today’s course, putting the students’ academic learning into the context of wildlife conservation and the students’ futures. Choose one of two short module options, either an Introduction to fieldwork equipment and sampling techniques, giving students the chance to try out lots of different equipment for taking biotic and abiotic measurements; or a Conservation and biodiversity walk, visiting different habitats within the reserve and learning about the strategies we can use to conserve and increase biodiversity. The remainder of the day will be spent completing two investigations – you choose from random, systematic or stratified sampling options. Students will work in groups to follow a standard scientific method and come out with a set of results for each investigation suitable for use in statistical analysis back at school. We will cover risk assessments and scientific drawing within the investigation process. Please get in touch for more information.
Today was better than Legoland!
Booking a trip is easy!
- Contact us on email@example.com or 01628 829 574 x 214
- Discuss your topic choices and confirm the date/s with us.
- We’ll send 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 just off the A4, three miles west of Maidenhead at:
Woolley Firs Environmental Education Centre, Cherry Garden Lane, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 3LJ
Download a map and directions
What's on at Woolley Firs
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.
The transformation of this derelict Grade II listed stable block into a modern all-purpose education centre was possible thanks to the generosity of a number of Wildlife Trust members and funding from grant giving bodies and charitable trusts.