7 reasons to visit the South Downs with your class this autumn

October 25th, 2017

Autumn is a fantastic time to explore the South Downs, crunchy leaves in the forests, frost on the heathland, moody mists across the chalk hills and warm fires inside stately homes. Read on to see why you should be planning a trip over the next 3 months.

  1. A lot of sites will be offering discounts outside of the summer season, you could get a bargain price on your visit. Check out the learning map to see what’s on offer near you.
  2. Autumn walks in the woods are magical. Deer are easier to spot when there are fewer leaves on the trees, holly berries are at their brightest and matching fallen leaves to winter twigs is a great identification activity.
  3. The nights are drawing in, get your class excited about Dark Night Skies. Visit a Dark Sky Discovery Site and encourage them to come back with their families during the Dark Skies Festival, 9-25 February 2018.
  4. Do some practical conservation work as part of a John Muir Award, the perfect way to get children discovering, exploring, conserving and sharing their experiences of wild places.
  5. Historic buildings can be found across the National Park and you don’t have to keep your fingers crossed for the weather!
  6. 85% of the National Park is farmed, see what they get up to when there is less sunlight to grow crops. The Country Trust and Farming and Countryside Education are good contacts to link your school with a local farm.
  7. Over-wintering birds start to appear on nature reserves and wetland sites across the South Downs, a perfect chance to see how animals have adapted to migrate 1000’s of miles across our planet. The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Arundel offer free visits if your school has over 20% children eligible for free school meals.