Discover & Learn



Adventure Schools

We love exploring wild places such as the fantastic butterfly meadows at Low Barns, the woods at Rainton Meadows, the rocky shore habitat at the coast or the wild areas of your own school grounds. Where ever you are there is always somewhere to have a wonderful adventure with nature.


Begin your class wild outdoor adventures with Durham Wildlife Trust today

Up to 0 children: £5 per child for a full day

Up to 0 children: £3 per child for a half day

  • A wild day out at either Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, Low Barns Nature Reserve or at your school with activities linked to the national curriculum delivered by our experienced Education Team
  • 10% Discount on second education visits and class conservation activities booked to take part the same year
  • Opportunities to win free visits from Durham Wildlife Trust Project Officers
  • Access to our online Education Pack with resources and activity ideas to support Living Things and their Environment program of study
  • School Certificate to celebrate your outdoor adventures
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Quotes from teachers


“An enjoyable and informative visit for all! Thank you to all the staff for their friendly approach to passing on their knowledge and experience.” – The Rydal Academy


“All staff were friendly and very professional whilst eager to interact with the children. Will definatly be back next year!” – East Herrington Primary Academy



Spring/Summer Adventures

Spring/Summer Adventures image

Habitat Exploration

What makes our nature reserves such special places? Come along and find out for yourself, explore different habitats through pond dipping, minibeast hunts, meadow grass sweeps and seasonal nature walks. Find out about food chains and life cycles and use some of our outdoor science equipment.

Adventure days will be individually tailored to suit age group and ability of your group. Available at Rainton Meadows and Low Barns Nature Reserves.

Schools visiting Rainton Meadows also have direct access to the Wild Play area so children can burn off steam during lunch!



Autumn/Winter Adventures

Autumn/Winter Adventures image

Wild Woodlands

Our woodlands are such important habitats! Come and discover why we need trees, go on a Tree Tale Trail to find out about the mythical and magical stories behind our trees and make some wild woodland artwork. Help us light a woodland campfire and create some tree inspired poems.

Winter Wetlands

The wetland habitat at Rainton Meadows is such a valuable place for our birds. Learn how to be first class bird detectives and explore the amazing world of our feathered friends. Discover why birds migrate and some incredible flight facts. Visit the bird hides and take a feather forage up to where the owls hunt. We don’t want your birds at school to miss out so we’ll cook up some delicious treats to take back for them to enjoy!


Forest Schools Training at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve North Yorkshire Forest School Training & Durham Wildlife Trust

NOCN Level 3 Forest School Leader

The course is designed for learners who will be planning and leading groups in a Forest School programme, and is aimed at teachers, teaching assistants and youth workers who require the knowledge and skills to be a Forest School Leader.

The minimum age for access to the qualification is 19.

Achievement of this qualification will give the skills and development required to plan and deliver Forest School, including organising activities and working with children and young people.

Learners will gain an understanding of the principles of Forest School and the skills required for facilitating outdoor activities. This qualification prepares learners for employment as a Forest School Leader.

North Yorkshire Forest School Training is an approved training provider of NOCN courses. Durham Wildlife Trust working to protect our wildlife for future generations, manages nature reserves, runs conservation projects, delivers environmental education activities and provides volunteering opportunities. NOCN is an Awarding Organisation offering credit based qualifications and is recognised by the Qualifications Regulators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The training programme:

Training is a combination of face-to-face days and independent study. There are theoretical and practical elements to the course and the face-to-face days will be based at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, using both classroom and woodland locations.

The course begins with six face-to-face days arranged as three blocks of two days.

Each student will be given a portfolio with tasks to work through independently and will plan and deliver a 6 session Forest School Programme for a group or class of children. Typically, sessions are around two hours in length and are run weekly.

There are a further four face-to-face days, arranged as two blocks of two days, for tutorials and the further development and assessment of Forest School skills.

Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd March 2018
Thursday 15th and Friday 16th March 2018
Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th March 2018
Thursday 27th and Friday 28th September 2018
Thursday 29th and Friday 30th November 2018

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Outdoor and Paediatric First Aid

Forest School Leader trainees will need to hold an appropriate First Aid qualification before leading Forest School sessions. A 16 hour Outdoor and Paediatric First Aid course is offered enabling students to gain an appropriate First Aid qualification valid for 3 years.


Monday 30th April and Tuesday 1st May 2018


Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, Chilton Moor, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne & Wear, DH4 6PU

The students:

provide their own safety boots and outdoor clothing for use during the training;

provide pens, pencils, paper, a camera and a packed lunch during the training;

attend the face-to-face days and complete independent study;

locate and gain permission for the use of a suitable woodland site;

plan and deliver a 6 session Forest School programme for a group of children.

The trainers:

Our lead trainer, Hazel Canning, is a Forest School Association registered Forest School trainer, having met set standards associated with providing high quality training experiences. She has a background in ecology, primary school teaching and running Forest School sessions for a variety of groups including the under fives, families, primary and secondary school aged children. She has led accredited Forest School training courses since 2009 and is a member of the GB Forest School Trainers Network. She is supported by experienced Forest School Level 3 qualified practitioners. The First Aid trainers are experienced at delivering Forest School First Aid and approved by the Awarding Organisation ‘ITC First Aid’ to deliver Ofqual and SQA first aid qualifications.


£895 NOCN Level 3 Forest School Leader Course

£130 Outdoor and Paediatric First Aid Course

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This course is for learners who wish to apply the Forest School learning approach in coastal environments and lead Coastal School sessions. It will provide the skills and confidence to lead innovative and engaging learning sessions for children and young people in coastal locations.

The training programme:

The training days are a mix of classroom and outdoor learning. These prepare the student for the completion of tasks outside the training days, including the delivery of 4 Coastal School sessions, which will be submitted for assessment. The course is approximately 14 guided learning hours and 14 hours of independent study.

The course will cover:
Knowledge of coastal ecosystems including ecology, weather and tides
Managing risk
Coastal activity ideas to inspire play and learning
Planning and evaluating Coastal School sessions

Location: Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, Chilton Moor, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne & Wear, DH4 6PU and Seaham Beach
Dates: Thursday 5th July and Friday 6th July 2018

Cost: £245

Get in touch!

To enquire or book a place please contact or 07814791671