Learning at Buttermere

school pupils damming a stream in Holme Wood, Cumbria

Working in the great outdoors with people eager to learn is one of our favourite parts of the job. There's nothing like seeing that lightbulb go on over someone's head, whether they're a child from a primary school, an undergraduate student or someone from the University of the 3rd Age.

Guardians of Buttermere Valley

We have teamed up with three west Cumbria schools whose children have become the 'guardians' of National Trust countryside in the Buttermere valley. Activities include planting oak saplings grown from local acorns.

50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾ 

We run den-building, firelighting, tree climbing and mud-slide sessions as end of year reward days for local Year 6 classes based around the 50 Things to do before you're 11¾

Higher Education

We occasionally work with University students, geography field trips, and PhD candidates. Buttermere valley is an incredibly rich ecological landscape bursting with opportunities for study.

Forest Schools

We run Forest School sessions for reception-age children in a quiet outdoor classroom off the beaten track. Forest School is a Scandinavian concept, which encourages pre-school children to learn through play in a woodland environment, normally through weekly visits to a woodland site which becomes 'their' place to explore.
If you'd like a Forest School session for your class please email: northlakes@nationaltrust.org.uk

Fun facts about Buttermere

  • Buttermere old school had six pupils in the 1800s
  • Buttermere means 'lake by the dairy pastures' in Old English
  • There are four abandoned settlements in the valley, all by rivers
  • Neolithic rock art was discovered in 2010 by our ranger Mark Astley
  • Cinderdale gets its name from the black soil caused by iron smelting