The Woodland Education
Centre, Offwell, Honiton, Devon, UK.
||The Centre provides
practical opportunities to reinforce many aspects of the Curriculum, especially Science
and Geography. All ages are catered for, from reception classes, through to those studying
at tertiary level. All groups are led by experienced members of staff.
A link to specific educational courses
can be found at the bottom of this page.
Pupils can investigate minibeasts in a whole range of habitats
including woodland trees, leaf litter, rotting wood, under stones and in freshwater
habitats. This practical activity covers topics such as:- the decomposers, carnivores
and herbivores; metamorphosis, life cycles and food chains.
This activity starts in the cabin discovering how to create a
good design for a pond. It examines the relationship of plants and animals in the aquatic
habitat. Particular reference is made to food chains and the conditions required to
support life, as well as to pollution indicators.
Pupils produce a map featuring the Centre's classroom, lake and
other clearly identifiable features such as a sand quarry. These lie hidden within a steep
sided wooded valley. By the end of the activity pupils clearly understand how to use a
compass. This activity is highly recommended for top Juniors and GCSE pupils, although it
can be adapted for younger children. Older pupils can also do orienteering-type
activities. Map resources include the interactive Centre Map, aerial photographs, a
geology map and old estate maps.
The Forest Cycle
A practical study of woodland ecology, with activities which
examine how woodlands work. It examines the processes and conditions needed to sustain
life. Food chains and the variety of life in the woodland ecosystem are observed and
investigated. The recycling of nutrients, the processes of decay, together with the
competition for resources in this habitat are also looked at in detail. An excellent
introduction to the natural world for all ages.
Since 1986 the reserve has been transformed from 50 acres of
sterile rhododendron to a high quality conservation site. The reserve has a remarkable
range of habitats. These include heathland, broadleaf and coniferous woodlands, wildflower
areas and an important range of wetland habitats. More advanced groups can learn about a
range of topics including woodland, heathland and wetland ecology; habitat
restoration and ecological sampling.
Days can be organised for
specialist and general interest groups. These may include fungus forays, birdsong
identification, entomology and botany days.
During the summer holidays, Family Activity days are
held on most Wednesdays. Activities range from shelter building to fossil hunting, rock
pooling, night outings and treasure hunts. Please telephone 01404 831 373 for more