Region: South East

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Deerleap Lane, Longdown, Nr Ashurst, Southampton, Hampshire SO40 4UH

Contact: 02380 292 408



It is our aim to provide you and your group with an enjoyable and informative day out. Our arrangements are flexible to cater for individual preferences.

• On arrival our Guides will welcome you to the New Forest Centre.

• Your guide will show you to our study room where you will be given an introductory talk.

• Tour of the Park. (Maximum distance is just over a mile. This can be shorter if required)

• Lunch  This may be eaten in the study room or outdoors in the picnic areas.

• Afternoon. This is a time for group leaders to reinforce the experiences of the day and is flexible to meet your needs.

• Visit to souvenir shop if required. As the shop is quite small, we suggest groups of no more than 15 children at a time.

• Closing discussion/question time.

• Departure.

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

The Park is set in 25 acres of ancient woodland in the New Forest, now a National Park and Southern England’s most extensive area of unenclosed land.

Here you will find Europe’s largest collection of multi-specied otters, as well as owls, deer, badgers, lynx, mink, polecats, foxes, Scottish wildcats, pine martens, wallabies, wild boar, wolves and many more species of indigenous wildlife.

The circular forest trail meanders along wooded pathways between the animal enclosures. An opportunity to experience wildlife in its natural surroundings.

Whilst many of our talks and tours relate to aspects of the National Curriculum we aim to enthuse and inspire the children about wildlife and the natural environment in general

What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

For visiting groups there are two options available:


An experienced member of staff will stay with your group throughout your visit and will take you on a conducted tour of the park. The Education Centre will be available for your use, where your group will be able to leave belongings and have lunch if required.

If you wish to extend your visit, you may use the Education Centre for a teaching session to reinforce the experiences gained from the tour. This session should be teacher- led, but your Guide will be on hand for advice and to support your activities. Pencils, crayons, etc will be available for your use.


This is for groups who do not require a Guided Tour but would prefer to make their own way around the park using our fact finding trail.

Please note: Groups booking a non-guided visit are not allocated a Tour Guide and do not have access to the Education Centre. 

Picnic facilities are available outside the Education centre or outside the Woodland restaurant.

Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

What size groups do they cater for?

Maximum group size approx. 100.

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

Teachers who have not visited the park before are welcome to arrange to have a free pre visit in order to become familiar with the site and activities for a well organised and safe visit. A detailed teachers pack containing information to help with the planning of a visit, background information about the animals and a full risk assessment is available on our website. 

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

Children are encouraged to take photographs as a record of their visit.

How do you arrange a risk assessment?

There is a full risk assessment for educational group visits but teachers are welcome to carry out their own as part of a pre visit.

What are the contact details for their education officer?

Our Education Officer is Robin Phillips.

What does it cost?

Please visit our web site for latest prices, and group rates available on request.

Is specific clothing required?

The children should be dressed appropriately for a day outdoors.

We recommend stout shoes or trainers.

(Children who wear wellington boots often complain of cold feet).

In the summer months we recommend sun hats, etc. and light waterproofs.

In the autumn and spring the children need very warm clothing and good waterproofs.

Do you have first aid on site?

A first aid kit is available at the Cafeteria for your use. We recommend group supervisors to carry first aid kits with them on the Guided Tour.

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

Picnic facilities are available outside the Education centre or outside the Woodland restaurant. For guided groups lunch may be eaten in the education centre.

The souvenir gift shop has a wide range of quality gifts at prices to suit all pockets.

Are there disabled facilities?

Please see our website for more information, under “Your Visit-Disabled Access”

What are your opening days and hours?

The Park is open all year round.

Summer 10.00am – 5.30pm

Winter 10.00am - dusk 

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

A Visit to the park is a cross curricular experience with relevance to many aspects of the curriculum.

During the tour the group will learn about nocturnal, diurnal and crepuscular creatures that live in the British countryside and see a variety of habitats. They will learn how animals are adapted for life in their particular environments; about animal behaviour, how they eat, where they live, why they have fur or feathers, and how they cope with different weather conditions. They will find out about herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and detrivores; producers, consumers and life processes.

The group will encounter threatened and endangered species and will become aware f the issues surrounding environmental changes and pollution and the need for wildlife protection and conservation.

They will be encouraged to use their sences to look and see, listen and hear and smell everything around them.

We hope they will develop an understanding and respect for the creatures of the countryside while gaining personal benefits from their close contact with nature.

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

Type of Visit: Adventure Playgrounds Animal Welfare Environment Centres Green Awareness Outdoor Education Parks and Gardens Picnic Areas Wildlife and Nature

Curriculum Topics Covered: Citizenship Environmental Studies Geography

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