Education

School visits

Outdoor Classroom for Educational Visit
The outdoor classroom for educational visits

Well-planned visits to Stover Country Park will develop awareness, understanding and respect for this local environment. This may include:

  • appreciation of diverse habitats; woodland, heathland, lake, grassland and marsh
  • understanding of the sensitive web of plant and animal life within these habitats and how they change through the seasons
  • recognition of the pressures of human population on wildlife and how pressures may be managed
  • enjoyment, enthusiasm and awareness generated from experiencing the environment and taking part in creative, physical and environmental activities
  • understanding of the historical and economic development of the landscape

Make a booking

If you would like to arrange an activity or school visit please phone the rangers’ office on 01626 835236 or email stover@devon.gov.uk.

Charges

School children at the Park
Children on the aerial walkway

We have access to Higher Level Stewardship funding for visits to the Park, which allows some visit to be free of charge. Your group needs to contain six or more people and your visit is for at least 2 hours, accompanied by a ranger.

Funding is limited and is arranged on a first come first serve basis. If you do not fit into the conditions above then the following charges will be applied to your visit:

  • £2.50 per child for half a day or £3 if a non-Devon County Council (DCC) School
  • £5 per child for a full day or £6 if a non-DCC School

What type of activities are possible?

A wide range of activities are possible. The rangers would be pleased to discuss any ideas schools may have. Examples are given below of activities that have been developed at the park.

An educational support pack has been created by the rangers at Stover Country Park. The pack is aimed at key stage 1 and 2 children but can be used to support visits by older children. The pack is available from the rangers prior to your visit but we encourage you to download the pack, which is in PDF format.

Full day activities for primary schools

If you are visiting for a full day you can choose two half-day activities. Alternatively, we offer a full-day programme on flowering plants shown below:

Flowering plants

Aim: to appreciate the diversity of plant life and learn to identify a range of flora within the park. Learn the different parts and functions of a flowering plant along with the processes of pollination, seed dispersal and germination.

This programme usually includes a half day habitat walk to identify plants living in a variety of habitats. The other part of the day involves games and activities based on pollination, germination, seed dispersal and parts of a flower.

Half-day activities for primary schools

Minibeast hunting

School Children Mini beast hunting

Aim: Use different methods to collect and identify a range of invertebrates and learn about their lifecycles and feeding relationships

This can include (some/all of):

  • identification of minibeasts using keys
  • classification of minibeasts into different groups
  • body parts and functions
  • comparing minibeasts in woodlands and grasslands using different sampling methods
  • camouflage games
  • food chains and webs
  • lifecycles of different species
  • natural artwork, using natural materials to create pictures of minibeasts

Pond dipping

School Children Pond dipping

Aim: Use nets to collect a range of freshwater species, use keys to identify them and learn about their lifecycles, adaptations and feeding relationships.

This can include (some/all of):

  • identification of creatures using keys
  • counting and tallying numbers of each species
  • food chains and webs
  • lifecycles of different species
  • effects of pollution on pond life

Habitat walk around Stover Lake

School Habitat Walk

Aim: To gain an understanding of the different habitats at Stover, how they are managed and the diversity of plants and animals that live here.

This can include (some/all of):

  • tour of conifer and broadleaf woodland, marsh, lake, grassland, and heathland
  • identification of plants and animals
  • tour of reed bed systems and their function in removing pollutants from road run-off
  • adaptations of plants and animals in each habitat
  • learning how each habitat is managed
  • sensory games and activities
  • food chains and webs
  • history of the park and links to the Templer family

School Children on a Poetry Trail lesson Poetry trail

Aim: To learn about the poet Ted Hughes and his links to Devon and to read and interpret some of his children’s poems.

Read and discuss some of the Ted Hughes poems on the children’s trail, find the corresponding animal statues and have a go at writing a vertical poem inspired by their time at Stover

Stream study

Note: Stream conditions will be assessed by the ranger on the day. If conditions are suitable, groups may be able to enter the stream to collect data. If not, fieldwork will be conducted from the bank or alternative activities will be offered.

School children on a river study day

Aim: To carry out a study of a meander and collect data on a range of geographical and/or biological features of the stream.

This can either be a half or full-day session depending on how many of the below are covered:

  • Learn about the journey of the stream from source to mouth.
  • Label the features of a meander and make a sketch.
  • Measure water flow rates at different points of the meander.
  • Measure the depth of the water along a cross-section of the meander.
  • Sample for invertebrates, identify them and work out a health score for the stream.

Bushcraft

Children sitting in the den

Aim: To work as a team to complete a chosen activity, developing risk awareness, resilience and practical skills.

Each of the below is a half-day activity:

  • Shelter building.
  • Fire lighting.
  • Natural crafts.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

A bear swinging from the trees

Many of the above activities, such as pond dipping, minibeast hunting and habitat walks, can be adapted to suit EYFS groups. We also offer story-based walks including a bear hunt which involves following a trail around the park, negotiating tall grass, squishy mud and a snowstorm to find the bear. If you have any topics you would particularly like to be covered please call/email us to discuss this further.

Activities for secondary schools

All topics mentioned above can be adapted to suit a secondary school visit.