Information for teachers
- All educational group visits, both independent and guided, must be booked in advance. This can be done by telephoning the Visitor Centre.
- If booking a guided session it is strongly advised that teachers attend a pre-visit planning session with an Education Officer.
- We recommend that you visit the Park prior to your intended sessions, to enable you to both familiarise yourself with the Park and to carry out your own risk assessments.
- We have both a shop and tearoom on site. Please inform us beforehand if you wish to utilise these services or would like to purchase gift bags for the group (see form enclosed).
- Please ensure that all teachers and adult helpers accompanying your party are properly briefed regarding their responsibilities prior to your visit.
- There is ample free parking for all vehicles.
- If you are arriving by coach or minibus please note there is a height barrier to the car park. Please ring the Visitor Centre when you arrive and this will be lifted by a member of staff for you.
- You should report to the Visitor Centre to announce your arrival, even if you are visiting Leigh Park Gardens (our woodland area). If you are undertaking self guided activities you will need to collect your resource pack from the Visitor Centre. If you are undertaking a guided session the Education Officer will meet you in the Visitor Centre. Please note animal feed is collected from the Visitor Centre.
- Staunton Country Park is an outdoor facility and it is strongly recommended that all visitors dress appropriately for this. Please make sure that all children wear stout outdoor shoes that are flat and bring appropriate clothes to protect them from the prevailing weather conditions. The Farm will be muddy following wet weather.
- You are responsible for the safety, well-being and discipline of your children at all times, including during guided activities. Groups of children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.
- Immediate supervision (i.e. every child must be within sight of an adult leader at all times), is required for all children up to and including Year 9. Hampshire Education Authority guidelines for off-site venues such as Staunton stipulate this and recommend a ratio of at least 1:6 adults for children under 5 years, 1:8 for under 8 years and 1:10 for 8 to 18 year olds, with a minimum of two adults accompanying every primary aged party. Loco parentis remains with the accompanying group leaders/ teachers throughout the visit.
- In the event of a minor first aid incident please make your way to the Visitor Centre. In the event of a more serious incident please contact the nearest member of staff. We have appointed first aiders on site at all times.
- In the event of an emergency please proceed to the lawn in front of the Gothic Library. If you discover an emergency situation please contact a member of staff immediately.
- You will be asked to complete an evaluation form for yourself and your class. We value any feedback or suggestions from our visitors.
- Hand washing facilities are located in the Education Centre, on the Farm and in the Visitor Centre. Waterless Gel soap dispensers are located around the site for your use.
- Guided groups will have a room reserved for storage and lunch break.
- You may eat your lunch anywhere around the site. Please ensure that you do not leave any litter. We have a limited number of indoor spaces for use by groups. In inclement weather lunches may be eaten in the Gothic Library, Courtyard Shelter and on request the Gothic Barn if available.
Health And Safety
As an outdoor facility with a farm, there are a number of possible risks to the health and safety of visitors. It is essential that group leaders are advised of these potential risks so that they may take steps to avoid them.
We have undertaken risk assessments specifically for education visits and activities.
In the event of an emergency, or if first aid is required, please report immediately to a member of staff or return to the Visitor Centre.
Feeding the Animals
- When feeding the animals on the farm make sure children hold their hand flat for the animals to take the feed.
- As a general rule please do not feed the pigs, horses donkeys or rabbits. Look out for this symbol to show you which animals cannot be fed. (Do not feed symbol)
- Wash hands in warm soapy water after your farm visit and before eating.
- Instruct children not to climb on or into any of the animal pens.
- Please refrain from picking up any of the smaller animals as they are easily injured and may bite.
- E coli 157 can be contracted through contact with animal faeces. It is essential that visitors wash their hands thoroughly after visiting the farm and that any open wounds are covered with a waterproof plaster. See the HSE information sheet AIS23 – Avoiding ill health at open farms for more information.
- Although only rarely, taxoplasmosis can be contracted from ewes, their afterbirth or new-born lambs and can cause miscarriage in pregnant women. It is advised that pregnant women should avoid contact with sheep during the lambing season.
- There is a deep pool in the Lily House. Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times in the glasshouses and instructed not to climb or sit on the edges of the pool.
- There are cacti in the Arid House. Please be aware that at times these plants can be very sharp and cause mild irritation of the skin.
Leigh Park Gardens
Please note you may require a staff member with a current Open Leader Award to access this area of the site.
Crossing the Road
- To reach Leigh Park Gardens from the Visitor Centre you will need to cross a busy road.
- We have a lake in Leigh Park Gardens. Teachers are advised to carry a safety throw bag if working close to the lake.
Risk of Disease
- Weils disease can be contracted from the exposure to water contaminated with the urine of rodents. Children should avoid touching their eyes, ears and mouth, wash their hands and cover open wounds with a waterproof plaster if coming into contact with the lake’s edge.
- Lymes disease can be contracted from ticks which can be picked up in wooded or grassy areas, particularly during the warm summer months. The best way to avoid this is to wear long sleeved tops, trousers and sturdy shoes so that ticks cannot reach the skin. Seek advice for the safe removal of a tick and be vigilant of flu-like symptoms following a bite. (Link advice sheet from ‘advice’)
- Download a copy of the Country Code.
- As with the farm machinery may be in operation within Leigh Park Gardens, including tractors, lawn mowers and chainsaws. Please do not enter any restricted areas and ensure your group are supervised at all times.