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Learn outdoors in Lee Valley

Date Posted: 21/11/2014

Lee Valley Regional Park provides a great habitat for learning in the open, with a variety of different programmes for schools available throughout its 10,000 acre ‘outdoor classroom’ that stretches for 26 miles throughout London, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Environmental, heritage and orienteering education programmes are provided by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s Youth and Schools service.

These cover primary school to university ages across all abilities, including programmes specifically for special needs.

The idea of outdoor learning correlates perfectly with the National Curriculum suggestion for Key Stage 1 that ‘most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences’.

Indeed, over 25,000 people of all ages and abilities participate in the park’s learning programme every year.

The diverse range of educational opportunities includes minibeast hunting, plant studies, rivers walks, local history sessions, dairy farm tours, orienteering, sensory safaris and design programmes at the Lee Valley VeloPark.

Activities have been designed to provide students with a sense of ownership and understanding of the natural world using the park’s many nature reserves and a wide array of species and habitats.

For example, the minibeast hunting programme ‘Focus on Urban Habitats’ for Key Stages 1 and 2 covers Science and Geography. Budding scientists will love investigating food chains and habitat requirements, taking their own measurements and recording human and natural features.

Weird and wonderful minibeasts thrive in the urban habitats throughout the Lee Valley and students can collect and identify and classify these creatures as part of this programme.

The Power of Plants programme for Key Stage 2 covers Science and helps students to explore their senses in the wild and search for hidden plants. They will investigate their role in food chains, explore the secrets of plant reproduction and discover hidden plants.

School groups can also learn about local history in Lee Valley with programmes including Canals and Riverside History for Key Stage 2. Students can discover what life was like for the families that lived on barges in Victorian Britain and have the chance to get creative experimenting with canal art.

The ‘Great Stink’ programme also for Key Stage 2 introduces students to a range of important historical figures which played a crucial role in revolutionising water treatment in the capital.

Find out more about the programmes at

School Travel Organiser's Guide