Region: South East

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Hampstead Norreys, Newbury, Berkshire RG17 0TN

Contact: 01635 202444



The Living Rainforest offers a unique educational visit for students of all ages to learn how the future of tropical rainforests and other ecosystems is closely connected to human lives and lifestyles. Pupils are immersed in real rainforest experiences while our guided tours link plants, animals, ecosystems, human needs, economies and cultures.

Why is this venue great for School Trips and Educational Visits?

Our School visits offer teachers the option of 4 different, 50 minute guided tours aimed at Key stages 1-4.

Edible Forest (KS 1 +2). Introduces students to the wide variety of foods that come from rainforest environments. Many children do not realise that the foods they eat originate in tropical climates so this tour aims to get children thinking about what they eat, where it comes from, who creates it and how it gets to their table, as well as how the diet may differ from those of people living in the rainforest.

Amazing Adaptations (KS 2-4) - focuses on how plants and animals have adapted to suit living in a rainforest environment. The tour covers areas including: the ability of rainforest leaves to get rid of excess water; plant adaptations to maximise light and nutrient uptake; and the way various animals are suited to life in the different layers and habitats within the rainforest.

The ‘Sustainable Future’ tour (KS2-year 5+6, KS3,4) helps students to explore the idea of “sustainable development” and its implications for different peoples, places and environments, using specific examples from tropical rainforest regions. It makes the connection between ecosystems, human needs and students’ own lives. Topics explored include deforestation, agriculture, pet trade, energy production, and invasive species.

Rainforest Medicines (KS3 + 4). This tour will look at the medicinal uses and potential of rainforest plants and animals. It will also explore what the term ‘medicine’ means to people from different cultures, and who might benefit from the pharmaceutical products based on medicinal rainforest species.

We are also able to tailor tours to suit your needs depending on the topics studied, for example we have recently focused on a lifecycles tour, and a chocolate tour!

What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

School visits include all day access to the rainforest, and a 50 minute guided tour.
You will be met on arrival by one of the education team, who will show you to your allocated area for the day, give you an introductory health and safety talk and set you off on tours at your allocated time. The rest of the day is free for teachers to timetable as they wish. Most schools spend around 4 hours on site, allowing time to visit our shop and playground, complete any activity and worksheets and have some free time to explore the rainforest.

Do you have a YouTube Video link regarding your venue?

Focus on the Living Rainforest video available on YouTube

Are you currently on Twitter or Facebook?

Find us on facebook – search for The Living Rainforest,

What size groups do they cater for?

We can welcome up to 180 students per day, across 3 tour time slots (10.30am, 11.40am and 12.50pm) with up to 60 pupils on tour per timeslot, divided into 4 smaller groups, each with their own guide.

What can they provide you with to support your school trip or educational visit?

Developed by our Education Officer, our website has teacher’s notes and activity worksheets available for each tour. Teacher’s notes give and overview of the tour contents, specific details of each of the exhibits covered, and also how the tour links to specific sections of the curriculum. These are free to all visiting schools to download from the school visits page of our website.

Can you take photos, video or audio? Are there any copyright restrictions?

Yes, we encourage pupils to have some free time in the rainforest to explore and take photos.

How do you arrange a risk assessment?

We provide an up to date risk assessment on our web page. This is updated yearly by our Education Officer and Health and Safety Officer. We offer free pre visits for teachers who wish to come and explore the site and carry out their own risk assessments before visiting which can be organized by contacting the education team.

What are the contact details for their education officer?

Our education team are available onsite 5 days a week to welcome and assist you during your visit.

Education Development Officer – Kirsty Shakespeare MSc

Assistant Education Officer - Melanie Booth BA (hons)

Contactable on or on 01635 202444 ext 3

What does it cost?

School booking prices for 2015-2016

Our prices are based on a standard number of 15 pupils and 2 adults per tour.

A single tour (of up to 15 pupils and 2 accompanying adults) is £123.00 including VAT, £102.00 excluding VAT.

This price includes admission and all day access to the rainforest and a 50 minute guided tour.

Additional children are charged at £8.20 incl/ £6.83 excl VAT and additional adults are £9.50 incl/ £7.92 excl VAT. There is no charge for carers.

Do you have first aid on site?

We have first aiders on site at all times. We recommend schools have a nominated first aider to bring any appropriate medication required (epipens etc).

What facilities do they have for school trips and educational visits?

Allocated area for your school to store belongings and eat packed lunches. Gift Shop with prices starting at around 50p. Goody bags are available for £1.75, £2.75 or £3.75 (pre booking required) out door picnic and play area available all day for schools usage.

Are there disabled facilities?

Our site is fully wheelchair accessible and we have disabled toilet facilities.

What are your opening days and hours?

9am – 5pm 7 days per week.

Do you have any testimonials from previous customers who have visited you on an educational visit?

"The Living Rainforest is a great resource - small enough to manage groups but large in its impact. The tours are perfectly suited, both thorough enough for KS3 and captivating given that the very flora and fauna being discussed is in reach of all your senses." The Trafalgar School.

“The atmosphere and level of information for the children was just right for our year 4 class. A well run and highly educational visit” Old Vicarage School.

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?

We can take bookings up to twelve months in advance and recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. We can cater for afternoon, weekend and holiday tours also.
We offer an Outreach program for KS 1-4. Please contact the Education Department for further details.

Age of Children / Pupils: 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Environment Centres Green Awareness Outdoor Education Parks and Gardens Science & Technology SEN Themed Attractions

Curriculum Topics Covered: Citizenship Environmental Studies Geography Science

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December