Outdoor detectives

View from Scathes Wood on the National Trust Ightham Mote estate in Surrey

Ightham Mote’s outdoor programme has been created by our learning team, with support from the rangers and a local primary school. It’s been designed to help develop contextual knowledge of the site, and to understand how physical and human features are interdependent.

Ightham Mote is set in the foot of a steep valley, at the centre of a sequence of water features which may be of medieval origin. This source of the water is the nearby springs, which provide a constant source of clean running water. The surrounding landscape consists of plateau hilltops with steep valley sides dropping to Dinas Dene to the north and the scarp edge of the Greensand Hills to the south. Southwards the land is gently undulating. 

 

River investigation

During this day long workshop, pupils will trace the source of the water at Ightham mote from the natural springs, to the stream that will eventually join the River Medway and go out to sea.

There are various other activities available (depending on the time of year) which include:

  • Discovering the quality of the water, by looking at its clarity, pH levels and what animals live there. 
  • Carrying out a river corridor survey to characterise and assess the physical structure of a river.
  • Analysing the flow rate of the river to see how the speed changes along different stretches.

The workshop usually runs from 10am – 2.15pm (maximum 30 pupils)

 

Habitats

During this day long workshop, pupils will undertake fieldwork to understand the environment of different plants and animals. 

They’ll investigate some of the different habitats at Ightham Mote, which include farmland, woodland, hedgerow, glade, river and pond. 

Using standard techniques for ecological surveys (depending on the type of habitat) they could be using pooters, log rolling, sweep nets, bush beating and quadrats. Pupils will also use simple keys to identify plants, animals and minibeasts.

The workshop usually runs from 10am - 2.15pm (maximum 30 pupils)
 


Booking

Our workshops run from March - October, and spaces fill up quickly.
Workshops cost £5 per pupil, based on the school having Education Group Membership (EGM). Without an EGM, admission fees apply.

For all enquiries, please email our Learning Assistant Emily or our Learning and Interpretation Officer Hannah.