Nature Conservation Ranger Team
London Borough of Redbridge James Leal Centre, Snake Lane East, Ray Park, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 7JQ
MONTHS OPENJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Listed under: Day Trip Destinations | Biology | Environmental Studies | Geography | Science | Adventure Playgrounds | Environment Centres | Ecology & Green Awareness | Outdoor Education | Parks and Gardens | Special Educational Needs (SEN) | Team Building | Wildlife and Nature Reserves | Conservation
What we offer on a school trip
The James Leal Centre is a new state of the art, eco building within Ray Park, which was officially opened in December 2009. Packed full of sustainable features with a bold contemporary look, it is well designed to meet with the modern needs of all users. Located adjacent to one of the borough's new premier children's natural play areas, fully equipped outdoor gym area, tennis and basket ball courts, it is also a good place to start/end your walk or cycle along the River Roding ‘Roding Valley Way’.
The centre also has its own cafe, a partnership venture between the London Borough of Redbridge, RCHL (Redbridge Community Housing Limited) and the Learning Disability Partnership, providing a quality cafe service (including catering for school parties). The cafe runs as a Social Enterprise, providing employment for adults with a learning disability. Training (accredited), work experience and job tasters for school and college students are available on request.
The borough's nature conservation ranger team, based at the centre, leads on various outdoor educational activities in and around the centre. There are five different themes, all with a focus on wildlife and the natural environment and all designed to link in with the national curriculum.
After the Storm:
Using story, puppets, role-play and simple activities, pupils are encouraged to explore a range of habitats before creating a suitable home for their animal friends.
Meadows and mini-beasts:
Pupils will use a range of survey methods to discover the wide variety of living things that can be found in Ray Park's wildflower meadows
Using fieldwork skills, pupils will investigate the River Roding and the wetlands that form an important feature of Roding Valley Park.
This activity opens pupils’ eyes to the fascinating world of trees, including their variety and structure. Following a range of activities, pupils will discover why trees are so important for animals and people.
A range of hands-on activities based in the James Leal Centre classroom to investigate the key themes of the centre, including habitats, life cycles and keys.
Each of the above are taught using themed backpacks and activities, resources being designed to focus on a selection of topics including life processes, habitats, living things and rivers. The themed backpacks allow pupils to feel like real rangers, with plenty of scope to undertake fieldwork, including the use of binoculars, microscopes, bug dials, maps, quadrants and tape measures.
The science zone activities, based in the Centre's indoor learning space, encourages the exploration of living things and their environments through a range of hands-on activities ranging from animal handling to making bug ID dials.
Visits can either be self led (with intro and wrapping up at the end with one of the rangers) or fully ranger led.
The ranger team also leads school trips to other parks and open spaces in the borough, including Claybury Park and Hainault Lodge Local Nature Reserve.
‘Tales from Claybury Woods’ is Claybury Park's brand new educational resource packed full of imaginative stories; woodland tree, plant and animal information; and creative and easy to follow wildlife-themed activities. The stories and activities are aimed at KS1 and KS2.
The stories and activities are designed so that they can be used at Claybury Woods; your local park; or even in your own school grounds. The nature conservation team can lead a guided outdoor session but do encourage teachers to explore the resources with their classes. There are 14 different stories, all with a focus on the natural environment.
Example stories and activities:
- Why the Trees Whisper
- Making drainpipe dragonflies
- How Flowers came to the Woods
- My piece of the story
Hainault Lodge Local Nature Reserve is a another site geared towards education, being an enclosed site with limited public access, it is popular with schools as a visit destination. A fragment of the Great Forest of Essex, and former site of a Royal Hunting Lodge, it still has much historical interest, with some remains on site giving clues to its former purpose. Science, Geography, History (particularly the Victorian period), English and Art are covered in the pack
Coach parking must be agreed in advance during booking for the James Leal Centre and Hainault Lodge Local Nature Reserve due to limited space and access. Claybury Park only has street parking available.
No private vehicles are permitted into Ray Park towards the James Leal Centre unless agreed during booking. Unauthorised vehicles caught parked inside the park or opposite the centre may be subject to fines.
We recommend visitors to our sites use public transport if possible.
For more information on what we have to offer please visit http://www.redbridge.gov.uk/cms/the_environment/nature_conservation/the_outdoor_classroom.aspx