Learning Organisations

Kielder Water & Forest Park is an ideal location for children to learn more about forests, the wildlife within them and to enjoy themselves in a truly natural and safe environment.

A classroom is available to accommodate visiting groups at Kielder Castle. For further details and information regarding booking, call Kielder Castle on 01434 250209, or visit the Forestry England

Wildlife/environmental/outdoor learning organisations

Albion Outdoors is an organisation run by teachers, for teachers which makes bringing students out of school to engage with the real world of ecology and biology very easy. Albion Outdoors is led by qualified secondary science teachers with post graduate specialisms in ecology and all are actively engaged in ecological research projects and biological recording. Between them, they have decades of experience organising and leading groups of students in the UK and abroad as far afield as South America and India. The organisation offers single day and residential courses in Northumberland which are developed individually to suit your school's needs.Albion Outdoors

Albion Outdoors specialises in KS3, KS4 and A level biology field trips but can offer courses to all phases of education, all supported with practical fieldwork in a wide variety of habitats. It offers students a bespoke course targeting any area of ecological content, be it climate change, biodiversity, taxonomy, environmental impacts and also the prescribed practical and statistics specification linked to exam boards. Both generic and site-specific risk assessments are provided and all course/activity leaders are qualified in Outdoor First Aid.

E mail:  Tel: 01830 520962

Calvert Kielder offers multi-activity experiences for children and young people of all abilities. Its innovative programmes encourage children to learn more about themselves and gain confidence through challenging and adventurous activities. Whether it’s a day activity or residential course, it’s guaranteed to be educational and plenty of fun – allowing for shared experiences and cohesion to be taken back to the classroom. The Calvert Kielder team is experienced in working with physical, sensory and learning disabilities providing an inclusive, fun and exhilarating experience in a safe and supported environment.


E mail:  Tel: 01434 250 232

The Environment Agency offers several school activities at Kielder and through outreach from the Salmon Centre, the largest salmon hatchery in England and Wales. Activities for schools support: learning about the life cycle of the Atlantic salmon and the work of the Salmon Centre; seeing and learning about the on-site fresh water pearl mussels and the vital role they play in the life cycle of salmon; and behind-the-scenes tours of the facilities and meet-the-staff opportunities for schools and other groups (advance booking required for groups of four or more people, including schools and clubs). The Environment Agency also offers opportunities for Newcastle University Geography and Geomorphology students to explore Kielder and its effects on the river further downstream. Tours usually last 1 to 1.5 hours. 
The incredible and unique life cycle of the salmon starts here! Learn about why the Environment Agency raises thousands of young salmon to be released into the River Tyne - the country's most thriving salmon river.
E mail:  

Tel: 01434 250269

The Forestry England offers working forest visits often in partnership with Wild North Discovery. Groups are taken out into the forest to view harvesting machines in action and are taught about forest management. These are run on average twice a year.

The Forestry England also has a range of free learning resources that can be downloaded here 
Including: an early years teacher pack; curriculum linked lesson plans; spotter guides and activity sheets; and pre and post visit activities       

Kielder Observatory is a public outreach astronomical facility located in Kielder Forest in some of the darkest skies in Europe and the third largest protected Dark Sky reserve in the world. Specialist events for schools and groups wanting to delve deeper into the subject are led by a team of academic astronomers who engage and stimulate understanding of more complex concepts, teaching about current research and headline astronomy. An extensive range of curriculum-linked and extra-curricular activity is delivered as part of an outreach programme using a touring planetarium to inspire further STEM learning, including: Planetarium Shows (up to 45 minutes long) and associated talks, workshops and activities for all Key Stages.

“Our goal is to bring in members of the public of all ages from school children in primary school and upwards with an aim to engage in discussions and observations of the universe.” 


E mail:  Tel: 0191 265 5510

Northern Education for SusTainability (NEST) is a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise working with local and regional partners to raise awareness of environmental issues and to encourage personal positive action that will allow local communities to thrive in a healthy global environment. Since its formation in 2001 it has forged links with fifteen partner organisations and worked with over 50 schools and groups to deliver earth education activities both residentially and within the community

Much of its work is done using the tried and tested earth education approach with clear, focused outcomes:
• Conceptual encounters: these teach the key ecological concepts that support life on Earth
• Immersing activities: help participants explore the natural world through activities which encourage plenty of rich, direct contact with nature, breaking down barriers and developing personal feelings for the natural world
• Personal action: encourage personal, positive action to live sustainably through life style choices

The underlying principle is that if someone understands (conceptual encounters) how things work and how we impact upon the natural world, cares for and appreciates (immersing activities) the natural world around them then they will readily take positive personal action to live sustainably.
NEST runs an extensive programme of school activities at Kielder with an emphasis on KS1 and KS2. Its 2018-19 programme can be downloaded

Website:-    Email :-

Bruce Ferguson Tel: 01388 529 154

Northumberland National ParkNorthumberland National Park believes that the special qualities of Northumberland – its rich history, diverse species of flora and fauna, and great geographical features – provide a unique environment for learning outside the classroom. Learning staff can facilitate authentic, practical experiences, including the opportunity for individuals to direct their own learning. There is a wide range of subjects covered in our sessions, from pre-history to habitats, bushcraft to geology, changing landscapes to cultural heritage, and so much more. The learning experience within Northumberland National Park can help people identify their place in the landscape of Northumberland no matter where they come from, fostering a sense of ownership and care of both this area and their own local environment.


E mail: Tel: 01434 341 200

Northumberland Wildlife Trust offers project-based education aimed at primary through to university education. Educating the public about the value of nature is one of the organisation’s key aims. It runs environmental education sessions with local schools, organises a wide range of events and conservation talks throughout the year, and engages with over 150 volunteers who give their time, energy and enthusiasm across a number of conservation tasks. A current project is ‘Restoring Ratty’, a conservation project exploring the re-introduction of water vole. Water voles were once a common sight on our local waterways but sadly numbers have declined dramatically in recent years. NWT is involved in a project to restore water vole populations into the Kielder catchment of the north Tyne, with a view to their eventual spread throughout the catchment and surrounding areas.
"Of all the staff and volunteers involved in our water vole releases, probably the most excited project 'assistants' were 55 pupils from two schools who had the experience of a lifetime when they were invited to roll up their sleeves and help the project team with the releases."

Read more about the work undertaken by the schools here. The Ratty team would be delighted to welcome even more schools to get involved in the project at Kielder, for example to undertake signs studies or survey work. Alternatively the team is happy to run assemblies to talk to the children about water voles and our project. If your school would like to get involved, please contact the Ratty team.

E mail: Tel: 0191 284 6884

Northumbrian Water runs a broad range of activities at Kielder for visitors staying it Landal Kielder Waterside, including several with a wildlife focus. Activities include archery, segway tours, wildlife tracking and habitat home building, pond-dipping and much more. A full list and timetable can be downloaded here

Northumbrian Water can arrange site visits (including a ferry trip where available) for pupils in Year 5 and upwards. Six weeks advance notice is required. Please contact 0191 301 6976 or visit the website

Tyne Rivers Trust is the only environmental charity looking after the River Tyne. The work the organisation does is not just for a better river, but a better region and better life. It can provide educational placement opportunities for older pupils, including for university students and its River School sessions give children the chance to get out of the classroom and onto the riverbank. Led by an expert, children will learn about river habitats and the lifecycle of creatures that live there. There are three options to choose from:

Salmon in the classroom provides a fantastic learning experience both in the classroom and on the riverbank. It uses the lifecycle of the North Atlantic Salmon to connect school children to their local river, learning about fish migration, lifecycles, food chains and healthy river environments. With a tank set up in the classroom—pupils watch the initial lifecycle of the Salmon in real time, helping to monitor water temperature within the tank as the eggs hatch into alevin, before a trip to the river bank to release them into river at the fry stage of their lifecycle.
Mayfly in the classroom is a fantastic opportunity to focus on the lifecycle of these amazing invertebrates and where they fit into the food chain. Pupils will take part in ‘kick sampling’ (holding a net underwater in the river) to collect Mayfly nymphs and take them back to the classroom. Here they will set up an aquaria to monitor their development and watch them emerge into adult Mayfly before they are released. Suitable for children with special educational needs.
Science on the Tyne is a flexible lesson plan giving us the opportunity to work with teachers to deliver a bespoke lesson based on the River Tyne that fits in with their class. Suitable for children with special educational needs.

E mail:  Tel: 01434 636 900

Wild North Discovery offers bush crafts, wild food, bird-watching, wildlife, nature and ancient craft skills in North East England, the North Pennines, Northumberland, Durham and Kielder. Activities are led by Bruce Ferguson, who has over 30 years’ experience of sharing skills, knowledge and enthusiasm in the natural world from bush crafts and survival skills to wildlife watching and ancient crafts. Schools (Year 5 and above) are offered a range of activities based at Kielder Castle including shelter building, fire lighting, wild food and medicines and a unique survival challenge in which they work in teams to solve problems and survive until rescue arrives.

Website  E mail: 

Tel: 01388 529 154



BBC Bitesize: Watch this great video of scouts giving their water saving tips to two "aliens", who visited on behalf of BBC Bitesize.