The stunning countryside of East Devon is an ideal place to develop field work skills which underpin Biology, Ecology and Geography curriculum knowledge. We also work with schools to provide cross-curricular enrichment.  Activities will be tailored to suit the individual needs of each group and are delivered by experienced Education rangers.

We can bring learning to life both on our stunning nature reserves  and throughout the wider countryside across East Devon.

Living things and their habitats

Enter the amazing world of creatures! Hunt for minibeasts, investigate rockpool habitats or discover the wealth of life that makes its home in the mud of the Exe estuary.

Take part in hands on activities and games to discover incredible creatures you never knew were there. Use guides and keys to identify a range of animals and find out how creatures are adapted to survive the conditions of their habitat.

Pond and stream dipping

Use nets and white trays to discover what creatures live in the pond and stream habitats of the Seaton Wetlands (formerly known as the Axe Estuary Wetlands) or other suitable sites.

Duration: 1.5 hours    

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3

Rocky shore (tide dependent)

Explore the rockpools of Beer beach, Exmouth or Sidmouth.

Duration: 1 hour 

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3

Bug hunts

Look closely into the world of mini-beasts. Discover which bugs are living amongst the branches, long grass and rotting leaves and logs.

Duration: 1.5 hours 

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3

Exe estuary

Discover the wealth of life that makes its home in the mud of the Exe estuary. Learn how the creatures have adapted to survive here.

Duration: 2.5 hours 

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3

Winter wildlife

Take part in a series of hands on investigations and activities which demonstrate some of the different ways that wildlife is adapted to survive the challenges of winter.

Duration: 4 hours (whole day) 

Age group: KS 1, 2and 3

Naturally creative

Create a colourful masterpiece, piece of jewellery, craft or imaginative model using materials collected from the natural environment.

Marsh monsters

Use your imagination to create a fictional character using air drying clay and natural materials, such as leaves, flowers and twigs, collected from the nature reserve.

Duration: 1.5 hours. 

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3

Natural art

Use the natural world as your inspiration - create images using only leaves, twigs, flowers, plant stems and anything else you can find in your surroundings. Work in a similar style to Andy Goldsworthy, the famous artist. Take these pictures home as hanging window art and colourful collages on card, or create pictures amongst the grass and leaves on the ground.

Duration: 2 hours

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3.

Hedgerow crafts

Make small crafts to take home using materials foraged from around the site. Activities may include making paint from mud and squashed plants, creating willow and rush fish or pine cone creatures. For the more adventurous we could also use small tools for making elder beads or charcoal or learn the skills to make a lashed picture frame.

Duration: 2 hours 

Age group: KS 1, 2 and 3

Make space for wildlife

Get hands on to give nature a helping hand. Depending on the site and season you could create a log pile, minibeast mansion  or other habitat, make a bird feeder, build a nest box or bug box, or take part in practical conservation activities.

Duration: 2 hours / 4 hours (half or whole day) 

Age group: KS 1, 2 and 3.

Rivers

Explore a river habitat, measure flow, take a profile of a meander and calculate water quality by surveying freshwater invertebrates.

Duration: 4 hours (whole day)

Age group: KS 2 & 3

Rivers pack

Studying Rivers with your class this term?

Available to teachers is The River Axe & The Seaton Wetlands teacher resource pack for KS 2 and 3.

The Wetlands Rivers pack is a fully comprehensive teacher resource pack for KS2 and 3.  Eight question led enquiries support pupils to investigate key features and issues along the river Axe whilst making global comparisons.

Background information and resources on each enquiry is provided for teachers so that they can be fully confident in managing learning both inside and outside of the classroom.

For more information, or to request a copy of the pack please contact mknowles@eastdevon.gov.uk.

Working well together

Can you work in small groups to build rafts to rescue a bear, cross a crocodile-infested swamp or light a fire with a spark?

Overcoming practical challenges in an inspiring outdoor setting is a fun and exciting way for groups to develop positive relationships and teamwork skills.

Mini-raft building challenge

Use natural materials and resources to build a mini-raft which can carry a small stuffed toy animal down river. Whose raft will keep the animal dry? Whose will be the fastest?

Duration: 1.5 hours

Age group: KS 1, 2 and 3

Cross the 'Swamp'

Can your team successfully cross the 'swamp' using just the equipment provided, or will you have your toes nibbled by the 'crocodiles' that live beneath?

Duration : 1.5 hours

Age group: KS 1, 2 and 3

Firelighting challenge

In teams, successfully build and light a small fire and be rewarded with a delicious toasted marshmallow.

Duration: 1.5 hours

Age group: KS 1, 2 and 3

Surviving in the wilderness

Build a den to protect you and your team from the wind and rain. Light a fire to keep your team warm and get cooking with some interesting campfire recipes.

Duration: 4 hours (whole day)

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3

Letterbox trails

Individually or in teams, follow a map to navigate around one of our nature reserves. Can you find all the letterboxes and collect all the ink stamps?

Duration: 1.5 hours

Age group: Early years, KS 1, 2 and 3