National Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre

School visits

The varied habitats and abundant wildlife can be used to teach a host of subjects linked to the national curriculum. A visit to the nature reserve also offers children a multi-sensory experience beyond the curriculum and help meet PHSE objectives.

Activities can either be booked individually or combined for longer sessions. Timings are given for each activity. Activities can also be interspersed with environmental games with educational themes for a more varied, light-hearted approach.

Please contact Karima Englefield on 01329 662145 or email karima.englefield@hants.gov.uk if you would like to know more about the range of games available. Most activities are only suitable for groups of a maximum of 20 children. Therefore with larger classes, we will arrange the session so that the group splits in two. This is where two activities are often appropriate with the two groups swapping over halfway through the session.

Activity sessions

The Visitor Centre

  • Exhibition, hands-on children's puzzles and games, shop, toilets, tea rooms.
  • Indoor function room available for teaching purposes or lunches under cover.
  • Enclosed wildlife garden with outdoor seating.
  • Storage facilities.

The Nature Reserve

  • Six hides, each capable of accommodating up to 20 children.
  • Panoramic views of the River Meon, flood meadows, reedbeds and lakes.
  • Displays in hides.
  • Surfaced paths and wooden boardwalks providing the special opportunity to walk through reedbeds and marshes without getting your feet wet!
  • Pond with purpose-built dipping platform.
  • Opportunities for close encounters with birds, insects, mammals and plants.

Meon Shore

  • Easily accessible beach next to car park and Visitor Centre.
  • Shingle shore with rockpools providing opportunities for beachcombing and sea shore activities.

Services

  • Experienced and dedicated staff and volunteers.
  • A varied programme of activities linked to the curriculum both on and off site.
  • Environmental games.
  • A large stock of equipment including binoculars, telescope, dipping nets, trays, pooters, magnifying pots and identification books and keys.
  • Tailor-made activities.

Gift Shop / Souvenirs

Your children may like to purchase souvenirs of their visit from the visitor centre gift shop. There are many toys, puzzles, postcards, pencils etc priced under £1 to suit small budgets.

 
  • Teachers are responsible for the safety, wellbeing and discipline of their students at all times, including guided activities.
  • Students must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times with a ratio of one adult to eight children.
  • Each group leader should have a First Aid qualification.
  • For Titchfield Haven visits, the leader should have undertaken Open Country Training.
  • Let us know of any child that has a medical condition requiring attention during the activity, and any children with behavioural problems who need extra supervision.
  • Please ensure that all teachers and adult helpers are properly briefed regarding their responsibilities beforehand.
We recommend a pre-visit to the nature reserve to enable you to familiarise yourself with the site and to carry out your own risk assessment (generic risk assessments available for guidance). These are free of charge if prior notice is given.
  • We have a function room (The Wigeon Room) in the Visitor Centre which, if not already booked, can be used as a classroom or to eat packed lunches. There is no charge but please let us know beforehand if you would like to book it.
  • The Visitor Centre also has a tea room selling ice creams, drinks and snacks, and a shop selling gifts, souvenirs and toys to suit every budget. We would encourage the use of these facilities but they can easily be made 'out-of-bounds' if you so wish.

Dress appropriately

We strongly recommended that all children wear flat-soled shoes or boots that they don't mind getting dirty and bring the appropriate clothes to protect them - we experience extremes of weather from storms and gales to bright blazing sunshine!

Gift Shop/Souvenirs

Your children may like to purchase souvenirs of their visit from the visitor centre gift shop. There are many toys, puzzles, postcards, pencils etc priced under £1 to suit small budgets.

Alternatively, ‘Goody Bags’ can be made up beforehand to take away with you at the end of the visit. The ‘Goody Bags’ cost £1 per child and contain a Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve Notebook, Pencil and Postcard (Collectively these items retail at £1.75 so the ‘Goody Bags’ offer value-for-money souvenirs). Opting for ‘Goody Bags’ also allows more time during the visit for the activities. Please note, the contents of the ‘Goody Bags’ may change subject to availability, any changes will be notified beforehand.

 

Our responsibilities to you

  • The Rangers have Open Country Leadership and First Aid qualifications. Their responsibilities are to make the activities safe and to manage on-site hazards.
  • We have undertaken risk assessments specifically for education visits and activities. The control measures are summarised in the Safety Information below.
  • On the visit, the Rangers will make sure all children, teachers and adult helpers are clearly instructed on the activities. Other on-site risks will also be highlighted.
  • In the event of adverse weather conditions, the Rangers will suggest alternative plans to make sure learning outcomes are still met without compromising safety.
  • The Rangers reserve the right to halt or alter activities where appropriate to ensure safety.

Your responsibilities

  • 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.
  • The Rangers’ ability to deliver the learning outcomes and announce important safety information is severely hampered by children talking amongst themselves and not paying attention. It is your responsibility to make sure the children listen when the rangers are addressing the group. Extra vigilance is often needed after lunch.
 
 
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Activity sessions

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Booking

Please book all educational services in advance using our online booking forms. Bookings can only be confirmed by email or telephone call after a booking form is received.