Goodheart Outdoor Education Area

Learn all about our fantastic Outdoor Education Area here at Goodheart.

If you’re interested in animal husbandry and welfare, native ecology and conservation, or the topic of sustainability; we’re certain you’ll enjoy a visit to our new Outdoor Education Area.

The idea behind the project

Before joining the Goodheart team, our Education & Outreach Manager Kath worked as a secondary school teacher and had many years experience providing outdoor scientific workshops to children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Kath began to recognise the need for more outdoor learning opportunities at the sanctuary as they provide such a benefit to the individuals involved.

Studies such as those carried out by The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) clearly demonstrate the positive impact of outdoor learning and its ability to increase student self-confidence, perseverance, and resilience skills. Students may feel more at ease when taken out of the classroom environment and they may be introduced to entirely new skills which are simply inaccessible in urban areas.

In 2020, we were therefore thrilled to receive funding that enabled us to develop an area of our sanctuary into a dedicated space for learning outdoors – and plans were set in motion!

Our Outdoor Education Programme

School visits

We know that learning in an outdoor environment may be more important now than ever before. Children and young people have had more than a year of being cooped up indoors with little opportunity to learn and play, so we really cannot wait to show you what we have to offer here at the sanctuary. 

The best part is, this entire area of the sanctuary is fully accessible for wheelchairs users and forms a safe and inclusive space.

Gardening​

Whilst exploring our relationship with food and our planet, we want to highlight the importance of seasonality and environmentally-sympathetic growing techniques, centred around our organic raised beds. This area also provides a great opportunity to discuss the importance of pollination and our reliance on invertebrates in this process.

We can then expand on this idea to look at the methods used to grow crops at a much larger scale, and the implications this has on animals, insects, and future generations.

Food

As our population continues to grow, the need to better understand our relationship with food intensifies.

Plant-based food products are growing in popularity by the day, with an extensive and exciting range of recipes to try. As well as combining different ingredients to form delicious take-home meals, we are able to host workshops which will introduce you to working in the kitchen and how to build and maintain fires safely.

Explore the different areas

Goodheart outdoor classroom

Outdoor classroom

Our outdoor classroom is large enough to house a class of 30 students comfortably and is available to use on slightly drizzly days too! This will be the hub of the Outdoor Education Area, where learning objectives are set out and reflected on at the end of each workshop.

Organic vegetable garden

Organic vegetable beds

We have four large sustainably-sourced raised beds within our Outdoor Education Area, and our programme of learning involves the cultivation of organic herbs and vegetables within these.

Rescued rabbit run

Rescued rabbit run

Sometimes we forget that rabbits are indeed farmed for their meat and fur in this country, which means they are susceptible to suffering and exploitation, just like our other rescued residents. That’s why we have built a new home for rescued rabbits following guidance set out by the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund!

Outdoor cooking area

Fire pit

We have made a dedicated area for outdoor cooking over an open flame to introduce children and young people to the joys of cruelty-free cooking.

It’s also a good opportunity to hunker down together, toasting marshmallows over a crackling fire, to reflect on everything that has been learned during your visit.

Bug hotel wildlife area

Habitat area

We’re not only committed to helping farmed animals – we also want to help sustain and encourage our native wildlife wherever we can.

We are planning to recycle and repurpose materials from around our sanctuary site to build bug hotels, bird feeders, habitat piles, and small ponds to help our resident invertebrates, birds and mammals to flourish.

Nature trail walk at Goodheart Farm Animal Sanctuary

Nature trail

Here at the sanctuary, we’re lucky enough to go about our work to the sound of birds singing, bees buzzing, and leaves rustling.

We’re in the process of developing a nature trail around the site which aims to educate and inform visitors of the local important species we have on our doorstep and what we can do to help protect them.

Visit us

Please note that the Outdoor Education Area is still in development, but we hope for this project to be completed by July 2021. If you wish to visit sooner, we still have lots of exciting activities for your to get involved in.

We offer field trips and educational visits to mainstream schools, specialist provisions including special schools and Pupil Referral Units, as well as local community groups.

To arrange a visit, please contact our Education & Outreach Manager Kath on  kath@goodheart.org.uk

Help support this project

Donate unwanted garden tools/equipment

If you have any old garden items that you no longer need – don’t throw them out! We’ll accept tools such as trowels, secateurs, garden canes, string, watering cans etc. as long as they’re in a useable condition and not broken. 

If you can help, please email Kath at kath@goodheart.org.uk

Join our team of volunteers

Are you an enthusiastic gardener with experience of growing your own vegetables or maintaining an allotment? We’re looking for a volunteer to lend a hand with maintaining our raised beds, digging and turning soil, sowing seeds, weeding, and organically protecting crops from pests! 

Take a look at our Amazon Wishlist

In order to get our Rabbit Run set up and ready to accept rescued residents, we need items such as feed dispensers, enrichment items, and care equipment. If you’re feeling generous, please take a look at our Amazon Wishlist and make a contribution!