RSPB Minsmere on the Suffolk coast is inviting schools to discover the natural environment in hands-on sessions, as the nature reserve marks its 75th anniversary.

Pond dipping

Source: Graham Oliver

Students can get close to nature as part of a workshop.

The nature reserve said it is excited to offer specialist learning experiences outside the classroom, in what is a poignant year for the attraction. Learning outside the classroom is known to build children’s confidence, inspire curiosity in nature, bring classroom learning to life and benefit pupils’ mental and physical wellbeing. 

Chris Ford, RSPB learning officer at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, said: “We’re so excited to welcome back school trips to RSPB Minsmere this spring and summer. We can’t wait to help pupils discover the incredible hands-on learning that nature has to offer. We feel that school trips are an essential part of education and can have great learning benefits for pupils.  

Studies have found pupils retain information better when learning outside, bringing to life subjects and enhancing classroom learning. Our RSPB school trips also encourage pupils to enjoy a curiosity about the natural world. And help to develop their social and personal skills – growing confidence in working together with classmates and teachers in RSPB Minsmere’s unique green spaces.”  

Nature-based sessions are on offer for all ages and RSPB specialists can help pupils of all abilities hunt for creatures living in the reserve’s pond, search the woods for mini beasts, identify the variety of birds in its wetlands and discover the changing coastline.

The sessions are said to present an opportunity to inspire pupils to talk about science and geography, plus RSPB Minsmere has been awarded the nationally recognised Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, ensuring high quality learning experiences and effectively managed safety.

Matt Parrott, visitor experience manager at RSPB Minsmere, said: “The reserve is bursting with exciting nature spectacles during these seasons. In the spring pupils can experience the chorus of birdsong in our woods and wetlands, and wild flowers on our dunes and meadows.

“In the summer pupils can enjoy ponds and wetlands full of life, from tiny creatures in the ponds to fluffy chicks on the scrape. Schools could even book a trip both seasons to experience the magical seasonal shifts on the reserve.” 

The RSPB also offers a range of free activities, resources and opportunities that support teachers and group leaders to take learning outdoors. More information is available at