Established in 1975, The Countryside Education Trust’s mission is to connect people with the countryside. Forty years ago we were pioneers, but now we are experts! We introduce people to the wonders of the British countryside, rural life and farming. Our expert teaching team tailors national curriculum-based modules to the needs of each school and we have great feedback from our visitors.
We welcome schools
all year, with an emphasis on hands-on, outdoor learning
. Schools visit for a week, half a week or a day. Residential visitors experience daily life on the farm, collecting eggs from our hens for breakfast, helping with animal feeding and picking their own vegetables from the garden.
Based at Home Farm
in the New Forest, we also have Treehouses
close by in ancient woodland. Blessed by a wonderful position, close to woods, a river, heathland and the sea, we have a variety of habitats on our doorstep and teach a wide range of environmental and bush craft activities.
Beaulieu village, the historic Palace House and monastery, and the National Motor Museum are all within walking distance. Slightly further afield is Bucklers’ Hard, a historic shipbuilding village, reached by a lovely riverside walk.
Schools trips in the forest
Pond dipping in the river nearby
Bird of prey
The Countryside for Everyone
We run regular playgroups Owlets (0-2), Little Owls (2-4) and Big Owls (4-6). The general public is welcome for family days and we hold a variety of events and courses throughout the year to introduce people to country living, rural crafts and wildlife. Home Farm is perfect for groups of families or friends who want to spend time in the countryside and our Treehouses host truly beautiful weddings.
Big Owls: Mammals
28th October 2020
Whose footprints are these?, What type of deer have the antlers come from?, where might dormice be living? Find out the answers to these questions whilst exploring the woods. There will also be games to play and some craft to make and take home. Covid mitigation measures Owls Clubs may look a little bit...
Eagle Owls: Make a Witches Broom
30th October 2020
Eagle Owls is back with a bang this October and we can’t wait to see you all again. Join us at the Treehouse for a spooky, Halloween inspired session full of arts, countryside crafts and of course, lots of biscuits. After warming up indoors with a Halloween themed craft You will use traditional tools to...
Little Owls Getting Ready for Winter
4th November 2020
Covid mitigation measures Owls Clubs may look a little bit different this term; All sessions will start with an indoor activity whilst everyone arrives. The rest of the session will take place outside to minimise the need for changing children in and out of outdoor clothing. There will be a maximum of 8 children per...
Birdwatching Walk: Woodland and River Birds
6th December 2020
We will walk through the Countryside Education Trust’s Home Farm and down to the Beaulieu River. We hope to see wildfowl, waders and winter thrushes, tit flocks, goldcrest and finches.