Geography and outdoor learning

A volunteer leans on the stone walls of a pen containing three black and white striped pigs, and talks to children standing on the other side of the pen about pigs and how they are used in the countryside

Here at Saddlescombe Farm we are very aware of human impact on the environment and of managing special habitats.

Guardianship of the South Downs and map skills


Key Stage 2: Guardianship of the South Downs

Curriculum link: Geography, Science and History

During this practical day, the children will learn about the South Downs National Park, why Devil's Dyke and Saddlescombe Farm are so special, and why we need to manage them for the future.
Throughout the day the children will take part in the activities below:
Practical conservation work
With one of our experienced rangers the children will visit an area of chalk downland habitat on Devil's Dyke. They will find out about the South Downs National Park and the National Trust and how these organisations protect our rare habitats. The children will then carry out practical conservation work using loppers and saws. There will be a fire to keep you warm in the winter.
Saddlescombe Farm's rich historical story
In groups, the children use a map to find detailed historical clues around the farm. These are located in important places including the Victorian Donkey Wheel - which was used to provide water for the hamlet; the intact 1950s milking parlour; the Victorian scullery; and the Poacher's Jail. The farm provides a unique opportunity to look at historical features from Tudor times to the present day.
Shepherding on the South Downs today
Meet Camilla and Roly; the farm's resident farmers, and their trusty sheepdogs Belle and Fly. Walk out onto the fields around Saddlescombe and herd up the sheep.  Talk about why sheep farming is an essential part of managing the rare chalk downland habitat.  Discuss which sheep to breed from, which to send to market, and which would produce great fleeces.
Hands on with local geology
Hands holding a hand full of chalk stones
Hands on with local geology

Key Stage 2: map skills

Curriculum link:  Geography and History
The children will learn how to use a compass and then use them to follow a set of instructions to find a hidden object.  Following on from this, they will use Ordnance Survey maps of the local area to identify geographical features. The children can then choose to draw field sketches of the local area or use the maps to follow a history trail around Devil's Dyke or Saddlescombe Farm.
For more information please contact the Estate Office at
All of our outdoor activities are flexible to better suit your specific requirements and the season.  We are happy to discuss any particular needs you may have in terms of accessibility or curriculum for your visit