Outdoor Learning in the Park

Educational visits to Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

Our outdoor learning programme is divided up into two areas:

  • Guided outdoor learning opportunities: these activities are led by the Park’s Community  Engagement Officer in collaboration with a school/group.
  • Self-led outdoor learning opportunities: these activities are led entirely by the visiting group/school. The school/group leading these must get in contact with the park’s Community Engagement Officer to ensure Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is aware of any visits to the park

Guided outdoor learning activities on offer:

Guided Self-led learning activities available:

Please contact the Community Engagement Officer who is based in the park, in good time prior to your visit, to discuss your requirements and any special access needs. They will then work with your school/group to ensure that your visit to the park will be both safe and enjoyable.

You can email the Community Engagement Officer at emma.peters@tunbridgewells.gov.uk or alternatively you can call on 01892 554 006.

Other outdoor learning activities can be made available upon request, please contact the Community Engagement Officer if the activity you are interested in has not been listed above.

Pond dipping

Thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding our park now has two large dipping platforms that are ideal for exploring the aquatic environment, allowing groups to get up close and personal with a great variety of wetland wildlife.

For a small charge of £40 your group (max of 34 children per group) can uncover the underwater world that lives in the wetland pools, from newts to dragonfly larvae, who knows what you may find! Suitable for KS1 and KS2. KS2 groups will learn about how the creatures have adapted to live in the underwater world, as well as learning to key out the invertebrates. Up to 17 pupils at a time can take part in this activity, (this fits in nicely with half the group doing the self-led bug hunt activity at the same time). Each pond dipping session lasts approximately 35 minutes.

Cost includes: led pond dipping sessions for the group (half a class at a time); all equipment needed (deposit required); a standard risk assessment for this activity; 1 member of staff for approximately 1.5 hours.

Want to do both our stream and pond dipping? No problem. Let the Community Engagement Officer know and this can be arranged for you. The double-dip ties in nicely with half the group following the self-led nature-themed brass rubbing trail , before swapping around.

Stream dipping

Our park is home to two healthy streams, one which is iron rich (making it red in colour) and the other clear. The streams flow gently through the park’s Ancient Woodland, and are home to many freshwater invertebrates and even the occasional fish.

For a small charge of £40 your group (max of 34 children per group) can uncover the underwater world that lives in our woodland streams, from freshwater shrimp to cased caddisfly larvae, who knows what you may find! Suitable for KS1 and KS2. KS2 groups will learn about how the creatures have adapted to live in the underwater world, as well as learning to key out the invertebrates. Up to 17 pupils at a time can take part in this activity, (this fits in nicely with half the group doing the self-led bug hunt activity at the same time). Each pond dipping session lasts approximately 35 minutes.

Cost includes: led stream dipping sessions for the group (half a class at a time); all equipment needed (deposit required); a standard risk assessment for this activity; 1 member of staff for approximately 1.5 hours.

Want to do both our stream and pond dipping? No problem. Let the Community Engagement Officer know and this can be arranged for you. The double-dip ties in nicely with half the group following the self-led nature-themed brass rubbing trail , before swapping around.

Bug hunting

Our park is home to a wide variety of invertebrates from broad-bodied chaser (dragonflies) to the brimstone butterfly, which can be found in the park’s meadows, wetlands and the Ancient Woodland. These are all easy to access for groups, being only a short walk away from one of our many Park entrances.

xFor a small charge of £40 your group (max of 34 children per group) can discover the unusual world of invertebrates that hide themselves in our meadows. Suitable for KS1 and KS2, can be made available to EYFS upon request. Learn how to distinguish between your grasshoppers and crickets, butterflies and moths, and hoverflies and bees. Let our experienced staff member teach your group about why bees buzz, crickets bite and why a harvestman isn’t a spider! Up to 17 pupils at a time can take part in this activity, (this fits in nicely with half a class doing a self-led bug hunt in the woodland at the same time). Each bug hunting session lasts approximately 35 minutes.

Cost includes: led bug hunting sessions for the group (half a class at a time); all equipment needed (deposit required); a standard risk assessment for this activity; 1 member of staff for approximately 1.5 hours.

Bug hunting (limited to April- October)

Our park is home to a wide variety of invertebrates from broad-bodied chaser (dragonflies) to the brimstone butterfly, which can be found in the park’s meadows, wetlands and the Ancient Woodland. These are all easy to access for groups, being only a short walk away from one of our many park entrances.

10 sweep nets, along with ID charts and bug pots are available for hire from the Community Engagement Officer for a small charge of £30 per group (deposit also required).

Each group will also be provided with a standard risk assessment for the activity that can be adapted to suit the needs of the group.

NB. Bug hunting in our meadows is only available between April and October, however during the winter months bug hunting is still available in our woodlands, contact the Community Engagement Officer for further details on winter bug hunting.

Nature-themed brass rubbing trail

Thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding our park now has 10 brass rubbings located around the park. There is an educational leaflet (including a map of each of the rubbings) that goes with this trail enabling groups to learn about the park’s habitats as they collect the rubbings. The rubbings allow groups to explore the different habitats that can be found in the park with an interactive twist.

This self- led activity is provided free of charge for all groups. To request copies of the brass rubbing leaflet and a standard risk assessment for this activity, please contact the Community Engagement Officer.

Any other activity designed by the school/group visiting

xIf you are arranging to visit the park with a school or group, please contact the Community Engagement Officer, as soon as you know when you would like to come. Once we are aware of your visit, we will be able to work with you to make sure your visit runs as smoothly and safely as possible.

You can email the Community Engagement Officer at emma.peters@tunbridgewells.gov.uk or alternatively you can call on 01892 554 006.


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