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Wonderful outdoor classrooms

Young minds learning about forest ecology

The City of London Corporation's green spaces provide the ultimate outdoor learning experience to tens of thousands of eager minds each year.

Young people from the communities that surround the spaces gain a deeper insight into the natural world on their doorstep through hands-on learning.

They are inspired, engaged and amazed by premium outdoor classrooms. National curriculum focused programmes are delivered in a fun, interactive and discovery-based ways which encourage children to build their emotional connection to nature and understand their role in a changing environment.

Hampstead Heath - the ultimate outdoor classroom

    Dipping pond at Hampstead Heath
    ​Dipping pond at Hampstead Heath

​The natural habitats of Hampstead Heath are close to being the ultimate ‘outdoor classroom’ and the Science Garden provides even more of a world-class experience.

The garden boasts a willow maze, an enormous pond-dipping platform, magnifying stations, a bug hunting area, a butterfly meadow and a story-telling grass amphitheatre. There are three bespoke wildlife gardens on the Heath, dedicated to children and natural learning. The Heath’s popularity as a place to learn grows, with visits by more than 10,000 students from nearly a third of all London Boroughs each year.

New programmes on plants, classification, adaptation and evolution aimed at specific year groups have been developed to fit the new national curriculum. Every student is asked for quick-fire feed-back after their visits and we are working in detailed partnership with one school to get to the heart of what teachers and pupils really need from us.

The Ponds Project Education Programme, in partnership with the Museum of London and Royal Geographical Society, brings to life science, technology, engineering and maths for secondary students.

Our partnership with the RSPB, through ‘Wild About Hampstead Heath’ has developed close links with four primary schools and taken ‘guerrilla’ interpretation' (taking the message direct to the people) to new heights.

Epping Forest - historic learning in a Tudor hunting lodge

    Avid learners at Epping Forest
    ​Young learners at Epping Forest

​​The City of London Corporation's Epping Forest Learning Service is one of four learning providers offering different provision in Epping Forest. The service focuses on the Forest’s historic heritage, offering a variety of adult tours, curriculum-oriented school workshops and children’s leisure sessions, in Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, a fabulous Tudor building.

The Lodge is also the atmospheric venue for our popular drop-in Family Learning Events (FLEs). These mostly take place during school holidays and cover a diverse range of Forest-related themes – everything from ants to World War One! We run a successful FLE passport scheme for participants.

Pre-schoolers enjoy sessions specially designed for them and we cater for people with special needs and for adult learners too. For example, craft taster workshops for adults held at The View.

The Epping Forest learning team attend outreach events. Mini teaching sessions on specific aspects of the Forest such as deer are given at events such as Countryside Live and help to spread the word about learning in the Forest.

We give advice on fun Forest learning activities for visitors of all ages and abilities and provide a plethora of indoor and outdoor activity sheets for independent learning online.