The Box Moor Trust Estate offers a wonderful range of facilities and habitats for school children to engage with the local environment and wildlife. From pond-dipping to meadow sweeping, we facilitate activities that we hope schools will use to spark a lifelong interest in nature through safe and well managed visits. Included below is a guide to what sessions we currently offer to school visits. If you wish to book a school group session, please see the booking information and pre visit information below.
*Bookings enquiries must be made a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the planned session. Please allow for 7 working days for the Environmental Awareness team to confirm receipt of your booking form.
At the Box Moor Trust, we have a diverse range of habitats, including:
- Wildflower Meadows including chalk grassland
- Chalk Streams and Rivers
All of the Box Moor Trust land can potentially be used for visits but the majority of our activities take place in the vicinity of the Old Barn and Gadespring Cressbeds site, using the surrounding habitats.
Environmental Awareness facilities in the surrounding woodland, meadow, pond and wetland habitats include a pond-dipping platform, mini-beast hunting areas and a woodland bird watching station.
The Old Barn incorporates an indoor classroom, an outdoor shelter and a toilet block with hand washing facilities. Our facilities at Gadespring Cressbeds include an indoor classroom, bird watching screen + hide, toilet block with hand washing facilities and a small environmental awareness area within the cressbeds themselves.
These facilities are accessible to less abled visitors. In summer months, mown pathways through the meadows are usually passable by wheelchairs. It is our aim that our facilities and services are as accessible as possible in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion and that all our visitors can share the same experience as far as possible.
We can provide equipment you may need for your visit including clipboards, pencils and practical equipment (such as for pond dipping). This equipment is fit for purpose, safe and well maintained.
Please note that not all areas of The Box Moor Trust Estate are easily accessible for coaches. If you have concerns about your transport for the day please make us aware during the booking process.
Pictured below are the Dipping Pond at the Old Barn (L), and the Visiting Area at Gadespring Cressbeds (R).
Health and Safety Information
Our environmental awareness facilities have been specifically designed with the health and safety of our visitors in mind. It is still essential, however, that visitors come well prepared. Further information on suitable clothing, footwear etc. can see pre-visit information in the ‘Booking Information’ section.
We will require a minimum school teaching staff/visiting adult:child ratio for your visit. The specific ratio will depend on the age and ability of your class and the activities to be undertaken. You will be advised on the required ratio as part of our booking procedure.
The Box Moor Trust has a Policy and Code of Practice on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults.
The Box Moor Trust has a Health and Safety Policy and complies with all relevant legislation.
Emergency Action Plans are in place.
We encourage site visits prior to the session so groups can familiarise themselves with our facilities, meet our staff and inform their decision making on the Risk Assessments for their visit.
As part of our booking procedure, we will ask for information on any equality, diversity or inclusion needs or issues, as well as details of any relevant medical conditions or allergies. We need this important information in advance of a visit so we can plan our activities and adjust our Risk Assessments if necessary.
Please note that, for health and safety reasons, e.g. a forecast of storms or gusting winds of over 30mph, or high water levels (for river studies), we may have to cancel your visit at short notice. We will inform you of this as soon as possible after conditions have been assessed to be dangerous.
We ask school teaching staff to take primary responsibility for first aid and advise that first aid provisions should be brought from school. However, Box Moor Trust staff are first aid trained and carry a basic first aid kit. Emergency Procedures for Visiting Schools and Groups exist in case of accidents or incidents.
The incidence of Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks, has increased in the UK in recent years. To reduce the risk of bites from any ticks found in the long grass at our sites, we ask that all visitors wear full-length trousers. For certain activities that involve close proximity to long grass, e.g. river studies and grassland sweeps, participation will be limited to visitors wearing long trousers. Information on ticks and Lyme Disease is available from staff.
We have public liability insurance to £10 million.
Risk Assessments are provided for all environmental awareness activities at the Box Moor Trust. However, visiting teachers should ensure that they carry out their own Risk Assessments as they know the children that will be present. Please ensure that each adult on your trip is aware of the potential hazards and risks that may be encountered during the visit. Our Risk Assessments also contain important information you may need in the event of an emergency.