Schools in Dartington’s Deer Park

Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund we are for the first time offering a schools’ heritage learning programme based around Dartington’s Deer Park. The programme is currently accepting bookings for February 2018 on a first come basis for pupils at learning at KS1, 2 and 3.

Your visit includes two led activities and the resources for one self-guided activity from the Activities Menu. Each of the activities takes around 50 minutes. This means that two activities from the menu can be done in the morning (with a short break in the middle). At least one of the activities will be guided (and often both will have someone to guide the children). All resources will be provided.

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Maths in Nature for all ages

Children will find out about the different ways that mathematics can be found in nature. They will use tools to measure the circumference of trees and explore different units of measure. Students will also estimate the age of Dartington’s woodland trees using simple algebra whilst working in teams to solve problems.

Ancient Landscapes for KS2 or 3

Dress in medieval clothing for an exciting guided tour through the woods, finding clues and considering the skills and traditions of Norman hunting. A good activity for developing skills of observation as well as an immersive experience of medieval Dartington.

The Changing Forest for all ages

Children will make charcoal and will find out how people have used the woodland in the past. They will do a treasure hunt to find a story bag and use a classification tool to discover more about Dartington’s trees. Children will also find out about the use of wood as sustainable energy in Dartington today.

Wattle in a Woodland for all ages

An activity to make a wooden wattle hurdle, or fence. Used in the medieval times for fences and homes, these constructions were transportable and could be made back in school. Children will also think about different natural resources found in the woodland and what they might be used for today.

Dartington Dig for KS2 or 3

An archaeology dig to explore Dartington through time, starting with its use in the Mesolithic times and continuing until the present day. A timeline will be used during this activity. Themes such as travel and transport, natural resources, food, hunting and tourism will be explored. Children will also think about the kinds of things that are left behind.

Dartington Dig
Dartington Dig

Seasons Treasure Hunt for KS1

Children will identify the seasons and understand how the woodland changes. They will hunt for seasonal clues and for models of different woodland creatures. They will use simple classification tools to identify the animals that live in the woodland and understand that they can be found at different times of the year. The children will make a cup of seasonal smells to finish!

Magnificent Mobiles for all ages

Children will identify the different materials that can be found in and around the Deer Park. They will sort materials and create their own material mobiles in the woods. For KS2 mobiles might have themes such as ‘food chains’, ‘recycling’ or ‘hunting and gathering’, depending on whether you’d like a history, science or geography theme. Don’t forget to bring your camera to take pictures of your children’s mobiles!

Living Landscapes for KS1 and 2

Children will identify the different habitats they see around them and look for places where animals would live. They will learn about the kinds of animals that might live in different places and how they need each other. Children will create their own food chains within a chosen habitat (from within the woodland). Children will be able to keep their food chains and use them back in school.

Mapping the Deer Park for KS2 or 3

Children will use an Ordnance Survey map to identify different features in the landscape during a guided tour of Dartington’s Deer park. They will identify features of the park’s historic past and discuss changes that have led to different economic activity. The children will consider the use of the river and how the estate’s natural resources might have shaped its past and present.

Wattle in a Woodland
Wattle in a Woodland

Self-guided activities

There are several self-guided activities available for the afternoon, or whenever you are not doing activities.

Parkland Games

Use a big basket of hoops, bean bags and other games to play with in an area of the parkland.

Sketching in the Woodland

Use charcoal, paper and clipboards to create drawings of the woodland.

Explore the Adventure Playground

Suitable for one class at a time, use the wooden play equipment at Dartington.

Colour Wheel

Use a colour wheel to explore Dartington and its natural landscape

Long Deer Park Walk

For those with stamina, complete the Deer Park path, exploring the river bank and the farmland around the estate. Please ask a member of staff if you’d like a map or nature notes for your walk.

Planning your visit

We can accommodate a maximum 40 children for each visit.

An inside space can be booked for lunch or you can eat outside in the parkland. Indoor space is available for some activities in the event of inclement weather.

Coaches may drop off near the main visitor car park at Dartington. It is an approximate 10-minute walk from there to the Deer Park.

The Deer Park can be muddy and cold. Please ensure children wear warm clothing and suitable footwear. Full details will be provided with your booking.


Activity costs and booking

All activities cost £3 per child, per visit. Adults go free!

We are now taking bookings for activities starting in February 2018. Please complete the form below and we’ll get back you.

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