Rippledown Environmental Centre Kent

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01304 364854

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Areas served:

South East

Rippledown House, Dover Road, Ringwood Deal, CT14 8HE

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday


5 to 7 years, 8 to 10 years, 11 to 13 years, 14 to 16 years

We provide 40 years of experience in delivering High Quality Outdoor Learning and nature awareness. For Primary & Secondary schools they can enjoy Sensory learning, pond dipping, Minibeast Hunts, Renewable Energy & Eco Building plus so much more.

Listed under: Accommodation & Residential | Bunkhouses | Outdoor Residential Centres | Animal Welfare | Bushcraft | Environment Centres | Field Studies | Ecology & Green Awareness | Conservation

What we offer

Examples of sessions

Mini Beast Hunt: https://youtu.be/l9Kfkh3Yz_c

Rock Pooling on the Kent Coast : https://youtu.be/Yn6KywBF398

Pond Dipping at Rippledown: https://youtu.be/EJpsPQFf0J4

Delivering Brilliant Residential School Trips and High Quality Outdoor Learning.

Rippledown is an outdoor learning centre on the stunning East Kent Coast. Since opening in 1977, we have been hosting residential school trips welcoming over 40,000 primary school children. For many it has been their first experience of outdoor learning.

Our tutors will help you identify definite Learning Objectives integral to your school's Curriculum Planning. There are over sixty different activities that help stimulate a child's learning capacities, using the centre's countryside and seashore habitats. The residential visit is a learning tool in itself, developing life skills and improving team and class dynamics as well as self-awareness and individual confidence.

Nature Awareness, Team Building and Woodland Skills
The site provides the perfect safe, secure, sensible and sociable' environment for young people to learn, live together and experience nature at first hand. These are just some of the highlights the centre has to offer.

British Mammals
Discover wild animals living right beside us. Create your own mini-habitat in our humane traps and wait to see what you will find!

Mini-Beast Safari
Beneath the logs and leaves, explore the wondrous variety of creepy crawlies! From the leopard slug to the millipedes and centipedes - it's a magical mini-world!

Pond Dipping
Our quiet, beautiful freshwater habitat is the nursery for nearly every insect you can think of. Learn about the food webs that link everything together.

Shelter Building
Need to shelter from sun or rain? Using different materials such as rope, canvas and wood - design and build your own den outdoors.

Map and Compass
Orienteering activity around our beautiful grounds. Solve the riddles to find the treasure!

Garden to Plate
Take a journey from the veg patch to the kitchen and onto the plate. Pizzas cooked in our outdoor ovens are particularly popular!

Environmental Art
Spending a week in nature is extremely inspiring and enlivens all the senses. Nurture your creative spirit to create works of art using an array of natural materials.

Sustainability Trail
Visit the food growing, composting and minibeast areas and explore the Sense-ability Garden?.

Renewable Energy and Eco Building
Learn what makes the Pines Calyx an outstanding example of green building design, construction and renewable energy.

Rock Pooling
Safely explore the rock pools whilst the tide is out and identify the flora and fauna you find.

We have pledged our support to the #BrilliantResidentials campaign and are committed to delivering High Quality Outdoor Learning:


The Bay Trust who run Rippledown is working in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University. Dr Joe Hinds, a Social-Environmental Psychologist at CCCU is gathering data and helping our Outdoor Learning Tutor, Dr Sarah O?Malley assess the effectiveness of our outdoor learning programmes.

Children gain a greater sense of their own competence, nature connection, hope and dietary awareness.

While many publications are about children, this study involves children. It prioritises the voices of learners. This study is small and adds to the ongoing debate on the value of outdoor learning and play in child development.

Their report is available to download here: http://baytrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Rippledown-Executive-Summary.pdf

Inspired by this research we are creating a series of short films with young learners to document their residential learning experiences. Schools are invited to take part in this exciting project and can benefit from the additional benefits of adding digital film making to their curriculum programme!

Accreditation and Awards

We have been an accredited LOtC badge holder since 2012. This was renewed for the next three years from Dec 2016.

Group Sizes Catered For

18 - 50 pupils plus support staff. Depending on the size of your group you can either stay in the Main House or the Annex. We have catered and self catered options available.

Materials, Resources & Information Provided

Rippledown caters for KS1 - KS5

We have a comprehensive Teacher's Pack available for download here:
This contains and overview of the activities on offer as well as information for parents.

Sample lesson plans are currently available on request these will be available for download from our website in early 2017.

Depending on the activity we also have worksheets available that can also be tailored to your curriculum requirements.

Please email our Educational Advisor - Sian Lloyd  for further details.

Photography, Filming & Audio Restrictions

Schools are welcome to bring their own photo/video equipment. Please ensure your release forms are signed by parents. We have a safeguarding policy covering photography and video and this can be supplied on request.

As part of our ongoing research into outdoor learning we can work with your school free of charge to make short films about your stay at Rippledown. Sample films can be seen on our Vimeo Account: vimeo.com/thebaytrust. We have a waterproof Go-Pro Camera and a Digital Assistant on hand to help you make and edit your films on site. It would be helpful if we could also use your films in our marketing. If your school would like to take part we?d be grateful if you would get our release forms signed by parents so we can feature your school on our website and social media channels.

Risk Assessment Details

Comprehensive risk assessments are provided for all set activities at Rippledown. If you require bespoke risk assessments or additional advice we have an expert on site to help you.

Education Officer Information

Our Education Advisor is Mrs Sian Lloyd. Sian is a former Deputy Head Teacher at a local Primary School and still works with local schools. She is fully up-to-date with the curriculum. Please email with your question and arrange a convenient time to schedule a call.

Pricing Information

Pricing is super simple and is as follows for:


Off Peak
Nov - March

April - October

Deposit £500


Off Peak
Nov - March

April - October

Deposit £500

If you require additional funding we can help you identify possible co-funding grants and assist you in the application.

Clothing Requirements

Sensible outdoor clothing is required! For full lists see this page:
(Scroll down to the What to Bring section)

We provide the following equipment:

? Wet-weather clothing
? Wellington boots
? Rucksacks
? Field studies equipment
? Resource materials
? Reference books
? Pens and paper
? A fantastic experience!

First Aid Information

Carol Hopkins - Head of House
Richard Martin - Lead Tutor
Both are qualified first aiders

Available Facilities

Rated 3 star by Enjoy England, Rippledown is newly refurbished throughout. Clean and comfortable and above all homely! We have safe and secure outdoor facilities on site for your pupils to explore and thrive.

Main House
? Sleeps 53
? 6 Shared Bunk Rooms
? 1 Single Room
? 1 Twin Room
? Bathrooms
? 3 Shared shower rooms
? 7 toilets
? No Wheelchair Access

? Sleeps 19
? 5 single beds
? bedrooms (2-8 beds)
? Bathrooms
? 2 shared shower rooms with toilets
? 1 x wheelchair access toilet and shower room.
? Wheelchair Access

Outdoor Facilities
? 3 Acre Garden
? Tunnel Play Area
? Fenced Wildlife Pond
? Picnic Area
? Covered Campfire Area
? Kitchen Garden
? Games Shed
? Woodland Trail
? Walled Garden
? Outdoor Ovens

Accessibility & Disabled Facilities

The Annex has Wheelchair Access with 1 x wheelchair access toilet and shower room


Rather than talk about ourselves here's some of the feedback we have received.

I just wanted to put in writing why we were so impressed with the Rippledown experience.

You are experts in your fields with that rare gift of breaking down complicated knowledge into interesting, digestible chunks. So, yes, the children loved the team games, the pebble throwing, sharing a dormitory with friends, football on the field etc. What was especially exciting for them was how you spoke to them about nature and science. It was like velcro in that it was pitched so well that I could see the children listening and retaining lots of fascinating knowledge, from how the Ancient Egyptians used yeast to the life cycles of the deadly nymphs in the pond. I know it stuck because I overheard numerous spontaneous conversations on various topics. The ethos of Learning Through Nature was a living reality and the children learned a great deal.

They got to share some of their reptile knowledge with you and they got to slot in the new knowledge you gave them. The experience really accentuated their Animal Kingdom topic learning.

Lead Tutor
Colvestone Primary School

Dear Richard, Carol and the rest of the Rippledown Family,

Thank you so much for a wonderful week. I have really enjoyed every part of it. My favorite parts were: When we did the teamwork activities (especially the mats and tiles game)! Also building the den in the woodland, although mine fell down twice.

All of you have made the week one of the best weeks ever! Thank you Richard for starting up the campfire.

Thank you to all of the Rippledown Family. Thank you again!


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