Region: North West

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Malpas, Chester, Cheshire West SY14 8EF

Contact: 01948 820728

Website: http://www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/bickleyhallfarm

Description

Cheshire Wildlife Trust is the leading environmental charity in Cheshire offering high quality environmental education field trips and sessions to schools or community groups. We provide fantastic opportunities for outdoor learning at a range of locations across the county all complimenting the National Curriculum.  All our delivery staff are experienced environmental educators, first aid trained and DBS checked. We provide risk assessments for all our activities.

Bickley Hall Farm Wildlife Discovery centre is located in south Cheshire around three miles from the village of Malpas and around eight miles from Nantwich between the A49 and A41. The 210acre (85ha) site allows children to experience both farming and wildlife first hand.

The countryside classroom is a converted barn which provides an excellent indoor facility to support our fantastic outdoor education opportunities. The 100 year old traditional farm buildings have been converted into 2 fully equipped classrooms with bag storage, girls and boys toilets with hand washing facilities and a kitchen with tea and coffee making facilities. It is based in the heart of our wildlife-friendly working farm surrounded by native-breed livestock and plenty of wildlife. There is a safe self-contained outdoor education nature area set in stunning countryside looking out toward the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge. It provides a place for children to play learn and discover.

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

Bickley Hall Farm is a great place to bring a school group for an outdoor environmental education session. It provides a safe environment where children can discover, explore and learn about the natural world. The farm hosts a range of wildlife habitats which are accessible and excellent for educational use. 

There are seven ponds on site, some of which are suitable for pond dipping session and are home to the many aquatic species including protected Great Crested Newt. There are also hedgerows and wild flower rich grassland which provide excellent habitat for minibeast, butterflies, moths, small mammals and many arable farmland birds.

Bar Mere, an SSSI borders the site and is an excellent place to see Dragon and Damselflies, Kingfisher, Great Crested Grebes and many more species. Other wildlife living on the farm includes badgers, harvest mice, water fowl, bats, lesser silver water beetle and barn owl.

What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

At Bickley Hall Farm Cheshire Wildlife Trust caters for all ages. We offer varied environmental education packages linked to the national curriculum embracing Science, Geography, Math’s, English, Art and Design and History over early years and all key stages. We focus on exploring the four seasons, Living things in their natural habitat, Wildlife friendly farming, People farming and wildlife, Cheshire’s icy past. We can also offer fun Team building activities.

A typical visit to Bickley Hall Farm would involve a largely outdoor learning experience where children immerse themselves in wildlife explorations such as pond dipping and minibeast hunting. By studying wildlife and the wild place first hand they will learn about life cycles, food chain, interdependencies and adaptations of species. Remote camera equipment and a goosenecked camera used for magnification in a sharing situation give a close view of either very small or very secretive wild creatures.  Games, stories and art activities are used throughout to reinforce learning.

Visits can be tailored to accommodate groups differing circumstances and needs. Our website gives details of the frame work around which we tailor our offer.

Do you have a YouTube Video link regarding your venue?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCLcBKzROiA

Are you currently on Twitter or Facebook?

http://www.facebook.com/cheshirewildlifetrust

http://twitter.com/CheshireWT

 This venue has the following accreditation:

Delivery staff have a CEVAS qualification and some of them are Forest Schools Practitioners.


What size groups do they cater for?

Most groups visiting the farm are class sized group however we can accommodate bigger groups by arrangement. We are happy to discuss options

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

A programme of activity is provided before each visit. We have some work sheets available and can provide follow up materials but the emphasis of our sessions are on the outdoor practice experiences which encourage children to connect with nature.

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

There are no restrictions in place at Bickley Hall Farm.

How do you arrange a risk assessment?

For more information and to book please phone or email Jan Shone or a member of the People and Wildlife Team to discuss your requirements and book your session.

Tel 01948 820728

Email: jshone@cheshirewt.org.uk

Risk a risk assessment will be sent out with the booking form.

What are the contact details for their education officer?

The venue is staffed. Please contact the People and Wildlife Team.

What does it cost?

Our charges

Bickley Hall Farm

Full day of activities costs £150 for a group of up to 30 children

Half day of activities costs £75 for a group of up to 30 children

Larger groups can be accommodated so if you would like to bring more children then please talk to us.

Is specific clothing required?

Children will need to be prepared for all weathers. Please make sure they have:

•    A snack – if required mid-morning

•    Water or suitable drink

•    Eco packed lunch

•    Suitable footwear preferably wellies and trainers (old ones if possible as they are likely to get muddy)

•    Waterproof coat

•    Sun cream

•    Sun hat

Do you have first aid on site?

All of the People and Wildlife Team are first aid trained.

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

Children can eat their packed lunches either in the classroom or outside on picnic tables.

Are there disabled facilities?

There is a disabled toilet in the building. There is some disabled access on site. As it is a countryside site some areas are in accessible for wheel chairs.

 What are your opening days and hours?

We are willing to provide education sessions at any time and on any day by arrangement. This could include night time sessions as nocturnal animals may be a focus.

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

Some quotes:-

Sheila Earlham, from Tarvin Primary School, said: “The Year 4 children really enjoyed their wonderful day pond and stream dipping with the Wildlife Trust. They had great fun learning about habitats and food chains........Nick and his team at Cheshire Wildlife Trust provided an exciting and well-planned learning experience”.

Elizabeth Jenkins from Wimboldsley School said: “The children loved every moment ‘such a fun finding out day’”

Victoria Primary School said: “The day was well organised, all resources and activities were well planned and ready to use. The children were kept involved and motivated throughout. We had a great day.”

Heswall Primary School:  “Enjoyable activities, suitable for all. Friendly and approachable staff.”

Willaston Primary School said “Enjoyable, active and worthwhile experience for the children.”

Warmingham Primary School said “The activities were engaging and enjoyable. The pond dipping was particularly enjoyed by the children and being able to see under the microscope was super, very well organised, informative and resourced.”

Childer Thornton Primary School said, “Great day good activities. Well planned I felt at ease throughout the day. The team lead by Jan, always welcome our school and are very informative, interesting and engage the children effectively in outdoor learning. We love coming!!”

Briererly Street Primary School said, “It exceeded expectations. It was very well organised, fun and informative. The enthusiasm and knowledge of the staff was fantastic and the children just loved the hands on experiences.”

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

Bickley Hall Farm is unique as all our staff are covered by a special Great Crested Newt license, which enable Cheshire Wildlife Trust to offer a unique opportunity for children to see, handle and learn about these creatures.  The site has a healthy population from which individuals and caught and kept in captivity for very short periods to enable the children to see them properly.


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

Type of Visit: Environment Centres Field Studies Green Awareness Outdoor Education Outdoor Pursuits Wildlife and Nature

Curriculum Topics Covered: Environmental Studies Geography Science

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


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