Learning and activities for schools and groups

Children on low ropes course

During your visit to Brownsea Island you can book a wide variety of activities including: learning activities linked to the curriculum, scouting heritage activities, sporting activities including archery, low ropes and watersports. All of our activities can be tailored to suit your group's needs, please contact us to discuss your visit with our learning manager. Educational group membership is available for schools and for Scouting and Guiding groups.

To book your activites or to discuss your visit with us, please call 01202 707744, option 2 or email.

Our learning activities are linked to the National Curriculum and activities are designed to be 'hands on' and outdoors whenever possible. You can mix and match activities to make up a half-day or whole day visit, unless otherwise stated all of our sessions last an hour.

Useful information when planning your group visit. (PDF / 0.8MB) download

We have a menu of self-led packs available for hire in addition to our instructor-led sessions. Details of these can be seen below.

Instructor led learning sessions


Brownsea is an important Nature Reserve and is particularly interesting because it has a number of diverse habitats all in a small area.  Through activities you will be introduced to woodland, heathland, and wetland habitats and learn about their inhabitants.

Habitats activity (PDF / 0MB) download

An Island Home

Aimed at KS1 and our younger visitors, come and find out what it is really like to live on an island.  This walk and talk will let you in on some of the secrets of island life and show how it different it is from living on the mainland. 

Island home activity (PDF / 0MB) download

All about Squirrels

Come to Brownsea and learn about the famous red squirrels. Find out what they eat, where they live and why they are so rare. Included are activities to help you understand what life as a squirrel might be like. On our short ‘safari’ see if you can actually spot one of these elusive little creatures.

Squirrels activity (PDF / 0MB) download

Creatures on the coast

A visit to Brownsea Island is an exciting and unique way to learn about coasts. Take a walk to find out more about the plants and animals that make their home on the Brownsea shore.

Coastal erosion

The island's coastline is constantly changing and eroding, providing a fantastic case study for coastal investigation. Through practical demonstrations and activities, gain a deeper understanding of the processes affectiong our coasts and the issues related to this subject.

Natural Art

Be inspired by the natural resources on Brownsea Island to create a unique piece of art. Your artwork can be flat or a sculpture, a picture or abstract, with rocks, shells, sticks, feathers, leaves and seeds, it is amazing what you can create!  

Natural Art activity (PDF / 0MB) download

Brownsea Island natural art
Group of children creating natural art
Brownsea Island natural art

Scouting Heritage Activities

Based on Lord Baden-Powell's experiemental camp of 1907, these activities will help you to learn more about the origins of Scouting and Guiding on Brownsea Island. All of these activities last for 1.5 hours.

Outdoor Adventure

Take on challenges and activites from the 1907 camp, this activity is regularly refreshed to include new challenges.

Outdoor Detectives

A fun, interactive session of games used by Baden-Powell in 1907. How well do you notice things in our environment? Will you be able to lay and follow a trail using traditional scout signs?

Survival Challenge

Each patrol in 1907 was challenged to build a piquet camp of their own. Put your skills to the test and learn more about BP's camp as you create and build your own camp in the woods.

Children den building in the woods on Brownsea Island
Den building activities, 50 things
Children den building in the woods on Brownsea Island

Sporting Activities


Have a go at archery on our range. Maximum group size 12.

Low Ropes

Test your group's team work on our low ropes course, will you be able to get all the way round? Maximum group size 15.

BIYST Challenge

Designed and made by our Brownsea Island Youth Service Team (BIYST), this challenge area will test your group's team work and problem solving skills.


Our watersports provider is Brenscombe Outdoor Centre who offer a range of taster sessions from canoeing to raft building.

Self-led learning packs

Wonderful woodlands

Use your senses to explore the wonderful woodland on Brownsea Island. Pack includes a range of games, activities and resources to lead your group on a sensory exploration of the woodland. 

Outdoor art

Use air drying clay and natural resources to create your own souvenir of your visit. Pack contains ideas to inspire the group, natural art activities and air drying clay.

Explore the coast

Find out more about the creatures and plants living on the Brownsea shoreline. Pack contains activities, games and resources needed to lead your group on an exploration of the shore.


Put your orienteering skills into practice with this route around the island set up by the Wessex Orienteering Club. Packs available from the Visitor Centre or the Outdoor Centre - no need to pre-book.

" Instructors were excellent as was the range of activities."
- Customer feedback

Statement of risk: The National Trust has published risk assessments and controls on all activities, which are regularly reviewed and updated. There will always be some real risk involved in the activities that we offer. We believe that, having put in place our risk controls the level of risk is low and tolerable within the nature of the activity. This residual risk is inherent in the activity and could not be fully eliminated without destroying the activity or the reason for doing it.