Educational opportunities

school on walkway croppedAn 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 file below which is in pdf format.

The creation of the teachers pack was supported by the following organisations.

Request an event

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

School 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.
Outdoor Classroom for Educational Visit
The outdoor classroom for educational visits

Charges

We have access to Higher Level Stewardship funding for visits to the Park, which allows your visit to be free of charge under certain conditions. Your group must have six or more people and your visit must be 2 hours or more with 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:

  • £1.50 per child for half a day or £2 if non Devon County Council (DCC)
  • £3 per child for a full day or £4 if non DCC
  • £12 standard fee for a half hour introductory talk or £15 if non DCC
  • 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.

    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

    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 the below:
    – 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

    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 the below:
    – 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

    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 the below:
    – 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

    Poetry Trail

    Aim: To learn about the poet Ted Hughes and his links to Devon. To read and interpret some of his children’s poems.
    – read and discuss some of the Ted Hughes poems on the children’s trail and find the corresponding animal statues
    – 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.

    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

    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)

    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

    The topics mentioned above can be adapted to suit this age group. In addition, a case study/decision making exercise for GCSE and A Level Geography has been developed using the same format as the ‘Portland Study’ produced by the South West Branch of the Royal Town Planning Institute. It forms part of the ‘Teachers Guide’ Millennium Project 2000 which includes 12 examples of Town and Country Planning and Environmental Management Schemes from across the South West Region. The Stover study has been titled ‘Urban pressures on a Country Park with a high nature conservation value’.

  • The following medium term plans can be viewed on screen or saved and printed as required:

    Earth Education – KS2
    This unit seeks to teach knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural environment through practical sensory outdoor activities.

    Park Management – KS3 Geography
    This unit aims to engage pupils with the key issues of management of a country park.

    Habitats – KS1 Science
    Children learn about different habitats in the environment and that differences between places result in a different range of plants and animals. Includes experimental and investigative work.

    Other activities

    • studying the diversity of animals and plants in freshwater environments including pond dipping
    • treasure / scavenger hunt
    • fungi walks
    • general environmental games/activities
    • earth education activities
    • following trails and developing map work skills in unfamiliar environments
    • the management of the Country Park; visitor and environmental pressures
    • practical conservation activities.