Gosforth Nature Reserve is a fantastic resource for school groups to learn outdoors about the natural world. From Key Stage 1 and upwards they can get hands-on with nature and have fun whilst learning more about nature in the North East.

School groups and youth visits

Since 1829, NHSN members have provided opportunities for young people to experience and learn about the natural world.

Located a stone’s throw from Newcastle city centre, Gosforth Nature Reserve is the perfect place to inspire wonder in younger visitors. Supported by a team of dedicated and friendly Education Rangers, we’re proud to provide schools and youth groups with the opportunity to enjoy and experience the natural world in a safe and beautiful outdoor setting.

Our education offer allows you to choose from a menu of curriculum-based outdoor learning activities to suit your teaching requirements, group size and time at Gosforth Nature Reserve.

Thanks to support from DEFRA we are able to offer free school visits to the nature reserve until Autumn 2022. If the provided DEFRA form is not returned within 10 days of your visit, the cost of your visit will be calculated based on the following:

  • £3 per pupil for a half day
  • £5 per pupil for a full day
  • £75 per self-led half day
  • £120 per self-led full day

Please note that Visit Organisers must fill out a booking form below to book a visit at GNR.

Information for groups

For KS1 and KS2, we have a great team of Educational Ranger Volunteers who lead our activities and provide natural history and site expertise.

The activities we currently offer are listed below.

  • Bird Spotting  – a year-round activity using our bird hides overlooking the lake and the feeding station.
  • Pond Dipping – a summer activity using nets to capture pond-life for observation, then releasing back into the lake.
  • Mini Beasts – a summer woodland activity, collecting invertebrates in magnified specimen pots to observe then releasing back into the wild.
  • Scavenger Nature Cards – a woodland activity involving looking for various natural objects based on their shape, size, colour, etc. then creating natural collages on a sticky card.
  • Mammal Camera Trapping – an opportunity to learn about camera trapping as a research method, as well as placing camera traps and reviewing footage.

For Key Stages 3 and 4, BTEC’s and A/AS Level the reserve is an excellent site for teaching practical science such as sampling techniques or carrying out practical conservation work. We also welcome individual student projects. Please fill out a booking form with details of your enquiry.

Facilities

There are three wildlife hides and an additional viewing screen in the reserve, which provide a great opportunity for young visitors and photographers to watch and enjoy wildlife. The welcome area, located by the reserve entrance, provides the perfect opportunity to find out more about the reserve and meet the Volunteer Rangers who help protect it.

Toilets

Toilet facilities on site include an eco-loo, located on the main path to the South of the reserve, as well as gendered toilets accessible from inside the Field Studies Room and a gender-neutral toilet accessible from the exterior of the Field Studies Room.

Directions

The reserve is 3 miles north of Newcastle centre on the eastern side of Gosforth Park. See here for directions and parking information.

The terms and conditions for educational bookings at GNR can be found HERE and more detailed information about GNR’s facilities can be found HERE. A risk assessment will be provided upon confirmation of booking.

If you would like to visit the reserve to see if it is a suitable site for your group, please get in touch with us at nhsn.volunteer2@newcastle.ac.uk

Knop Law Primary School at GNR © NHSN

The teachers on the visit thought the trip was great and thoroughly enjoyed it. They enjoyed the bat box building and thought it was a great activity. Excellently managed by nature reserve staff.

Macmillan Academy, Newcastle

Book your visit

Please use the form below to make a booking for your school or group.

School Booking Form

Name of Visit Organiser
Contact Address
Name of Visit Leader
(if different from Visit Organiser)
Visit Duration

The number activities per half/full day is based on a single class (around 30 pupils). We can accommodate up to two classes for a full day, but the structure of the day will need to be discussed further once this booking form is received.
(please list in order of priority)
(minimum 7:1 student:adult ratio)
(e.g. medical concerns, special educational needs, physical ability, etc.)
Are you willing for photographs of your group to be taken for our records and publicity use?
(it is the responsibility of the visit leader to ensure parental consent if applicable)
Please tick which programme(s) to request
For full descriptions of the activities and information on learning outcomes please view our website: https://www.nhsn.org.uk/education-at-gnr/.
Acceptance of booking
Would you like to opt in to receive future information about our education and group sessions?
Roe Deer © Katy Read

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