Learning opportunities for KS1 and KS2 at Carding Mill Valley

Carding Mill Valley girl fishing net

From river studies to fossil hunting, we offer lots of hands-on activities to help younger children learn about our outdoor environment, habitats and wildlife.

Guided walk

Suitable for all ages, the guided walk is the perfect way to introduce children to the valley. Led by a member of the learning team, the group will discuss topics including, the lifecycle of a river, human and natural impact on the landscape and points of archaeological interest in the valley. This can be combined with any of the other actvities sessions.

Suggested walks   

  • Reservoir and return - 45 minutes
  • Reservoir and pipewalk - 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Waterfall - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Reservoir, pipewalk and waterfall - 1 hour 45 minutes
  • River source - 2 hours 30 minutes

River studies

This cross-curricula activity is brilliant as a starter hook or end of topic piece of work when studying rivers. It can also be a great way to use maths in real life.  The learning team will help students to collect data including valley width, channel and water surface area and depths across and down stream. KS1 and KS2 children can use the data to produce graphs and charts back in the classroom.

River dipping

We have two well equipped field labs that can fit up to thirty children in with a mircoscope each. Using the Carding Mill Valley stream, your group will catch freshwater inverterbrates to study, sketch and research. This is often combined with river studies and a walk for an excellent day in the valley.


Learn all about the formation of the Shropshire Hills and nearby volcanoes. Students will carry out tests on metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rock samples. It's hard to believe that some of the ripple and raindrop marks in the stone are nearly 520 million years old.

Groups can choose to visit Lea Quarry on Wenlock Edge where we take a look at the coral reef strata for evidence of fossils. A morning at Carding Mill followed by an afternoon on Wenlock Edge makes for a full day's work.

Orienteering, map and compass

Get to know your way around the valley. Challenge the group to take part in the introductory orienteering course in the lower part of the valley. The learning team will begin the session with a variety of map reading exercises, including grid referencing and using a compass. This activity usually takes half a day. For smaller groups, map reading can be done indoors.


We have several different habitats to study and compare. Take a closer look in one of our ponds, comb the heathland or head to the hillside woodland in Carding Mill Valley to discover what's living and growing on different levels of the valley. Investigate the soil, the leaf litter, the shurb layer and the canopy for signs of life. Take a look at our resident birds from the bird hide and compare your findings from the hillside. We can offer lots of different learning opportunities around habitats. Let us know what suits you and your class when you book your visit.