Deer Park: Activities for Schools

Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ernest Cook Trust we are able to offer a schools’ heritage learning programme based around Dartington’s Deer Park.

The Park has a 700-year-old story to tell: about the people who lived here, the magnificent landscape, the deer themselves and the abundant wildlife.  Our learning programme brings all this and more to life through a creative, exciting approach that complements the school syllabus.

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.

The programme is currently accepting bookings for spring 2019, on a first come, first served basis for pupils at learning at KS1, 2 and 3.

Thank you for all those who’ve visited or booked in 2018.  We look forward to seeing you again in 2019!

Skip to costs and booking info ⇒

Dartington Dig
Dartington Dig

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 go on a short walk to make a woodland cocktail and find out 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.

Teddy Bears Picnic for KS1 special activity for the whole day

Children will bring their own teddy for a picnic in the woods and enjoy a sensory awareness walk. Children will find out about the needs of living things and will play games in the woodlands. They will also listen to a special story and build their own ‘treasure island’.

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 symbols found on ordinance survey maps to identify different features that can be found at Dartington. The children will also learn about co-ordinates and use them to develop orienteering skills in the woodland. They will look at maps and be able to identify where different features are using a compass.​

Explore our Deer for KS2

Special tour of the deer park to find out about the way deer live, what they need and the ways in which they change the Dartington environment. Children will learn about their habitat, eating habits and will create their own deer artwork in the woods to finish.

Self-guided activities

Wattle in a Woodland
Wattle in a Woodland

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. 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 (£4 per child, per visit during the 2018 autumn term). Adults go free!

Supported by

heritage lottery funded logo