Woodside Environmental Education Centre. Four Seasons Activity Programme

Welcome to Woodside
Wildflower Meadow
Livestock Area
Sustainable Backyard
Grow Your Own
Livestock Areas
Animal Handling
Construct Shelters
Cleaning and Care
Grazing Rotation
Orchard Management
Sustainable Backyard
Natural Beekeeping
Grow Your Own
Woodland Management
about our Woodside Environmental Education Centre's 'Four Seasons Activity programme'
Through a diverse seasonally focused programme of land-based environmental activities, The Great Out-tours enrich & empower people with special needs, learning disabilities, dementia & mental health conditions, to see, interpret & understand the beauty, features & importance of our countryside. With this new found knowledge people can apply it to the context of their own lives increasing their quality of/appreciation for life.
What You Do On The Four Seasons Activity Programme
When you enrol with the great out-tours you are automatically placed on our ‘four seasons activity programme’ at woodside. this training package incorporates the amazing flows of nature & farming across spring, summer, autumn & winter. The programme comprises a learning theme framework made up of 10 land-based activity areas: 1. hedgerow management & wildlife survey 2. sustainable back yard project 3. grow your own 4. woodland management 5. natural beekeeping 6. livestock areas 7. traditional orchard 8. ponds: survey & management 9. scrub management & survey 10. wildflower meadows & grassland management.

What you will do: Sustainable Backyard Project

Scocus Barn - Sustainable back yard
  • Learn about the principles of sustainable living in your own home/garden space.
  • Take part in creating this fascinating project converting a grass plot to a thriving self sustaining source of food, wildlife & enjoyment.
  • Make various wooden structures i.e. bird feeders / tables. help design the plot layout to include: a vegetable area with raised beds, wildlife garden, pond, chicken enclosure, pig pen, tool/potting shed, recreational area & path.
  • Learn about the essential link between own food production, sustainable garden management & wildlife.

What you will do in the Livestock Area: Livestock Areas

Scocus Barn - Livestock areas feature_old
  • Learn about the basic humane care aspects of farm livestock, including cows, sheep, pigs,chickens and ducks
  • Carry out morning/afternoon feeding routines for cows, sheep, pigs, chickens & ducks.
  • Carry out basic animal conditioning inspections & medicating routines.
  • Move animals from field to field in accordance with site hay rotation plan.
  • Construct chicken & duck houses.
  • Take part in basic animal handling with emphasis on new born calves, lambs, piglets, chicks & ducklings.

What you will do: Nestbox Building

Scocus Barn interpretive summary map -Final- i
  • Learn about the habitat requirements of the internationally rare dormouse.
  • Survey the woodland for dormice/other mammals & plants using a variety of interesting methods.
  • Coppice selected hazel tree areas within woodland using a variety of hand tools.
  • Select hazel ‘stakes & binders’ cutting to lengths for use in rural craft works (hurdle making, hedge laying).
  • Make wooden dormice/bird/bat nest boxes & place around woodland.
  • Create dormouse/bird/bat nestbox location grid map for pre-made boxes.

What you will do: Hedgerow Management and Creation

Scocus Barn - Hedgerow management feature i
  • Help create a new wildlife rich hedge using young plants you’ll select & dig from the site’s own woodland.
  • Learn all about the role & importance of hedgerow habitat for wildlife, farming & garden health.
  • Learn about the traditional methods of hedgerow management.
  • Regenerate a defunct hedgerow to create a neat, thick & wildlife friendly hedgerow.
  • Have a go at traditional hedge laying using a variety of hand tools to lay vegetation.

What you will do: Traditional Orchard Management

Scocus Barn - Traditional orchard feature i
  • Learn about the wildlife & community benefits of traditional orchards.
  • Assist in the pruning of existing fruit trees using a variety of hand tools.
  • Pick fruits & learn about their many uses.
  • Use fruits to make a variety of juices & jams.
  • Assist in the planting of new local variety fruit trees within orchard.
  • Put up insect, bee & bird homes within orchard trees to encourage pollination.

What you will do: Beekeeping

  • Learn about the wildlife & community benefits of bees.
  • Put up bee homes within surrounding traditional orchard, wood & meadows to encourage pollination & natural pest control.
  • Assist to harvest the honey by ‘drawing it off’ the combs.
  • Jar up & label the honey ready for comunity sale.

What you will do: Woodland Management and Campfires

Scocus Barn - Woodland bushcraft feature i
  • Learn about the importance of woodlands & their management for wildlife & recreation.
  • Carry out seasonal management using a variety of hand tools.
  • Learn to/cut down small trees/shrubs using a variety of techniques to include ‘coppicing’ & ‘pollarding’.
  • Design & cut woodland paths through thick bramble undergrowth.
  • Create a campfire area for cook ups & woodland bushcraft activities.
  • Make a variety of different items using woodland materials.
  • Make fires and cook lunch!

What you will do: Pond Survey and Management

Scocus Barn - Ponds feature i (1)
  • Learn about the role & importance of pond & stream habitats, their wildlife & management.
  • Carry out a variety of pond/stream wildlife surveys.
  • Help construct a pond dipping platform.
  • Construct various water wildlife homes to include floating duck houses.
  • Take part in seasonal pond management.
  • Go fishing.
  • Carry out seasonal pond dipping

What you will do: Wild Flower Meadow

Scocus Barn - Wildflower meadow-grassland i
  • Learn about the ancient origins & conservation importance of wealden wildflower grasslands.
  • Survey plant & insect life in meadows & fields using a variety of methods.
  • Collect wildflower seeds from farm meadows/fields & plant in plugs for later transplant to other site areas.
  • Learn about the process of hay-making & its importance on a farm.
  • Make barn owl nest boxes for siting to meadow edges.

Based on a minimum group size of 4 individuals (either all from one organisation or made up of referrals from your/other care establishments/backgrounds):

  • Two hour price (1030 – 1300): £35.00 per individual

We have three key forms that require review/completion prior to an individual’s inception to a ‘Four Seasons Activity Programme’ at Woodside Environmental Education Centre. Please click on the links below to download pdf’s:

Participant pen portrait form

Participant enrolment form 2019

Telling us about your disability

Please click on the link below to download a pdf of our ‘Four Seasons Activity Programme’ Terms & Conditions at Woodside Environmental Education Centre:

Terms & Conditions

See our ‘umbrella’ risk assessment framework covering our varied Woodside Environmental Education Centre ‘Four Seasons Activity Programme’ activities. Click on the link below for a pdf copy:

Risk assessments for Woodside Environmental Education Centre – Two Hour Format

All ‘Woodside Environmental Education Centre, Four Seasons Activity programmes have £10 million Public Liability Insurance cover. Click on the pdf link for a copy of our current Employers’ Liability Insurance Policy.

All our Woodside Environmental Education Centre based ‘lead instructors’, are trained / certified to ‘Emergency First At Work’ level, a nationally recognised qualification that meets the requirements outlined by the HSE (Health & Safety Executive – a UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in Great Britain).

Find Out More

When You Enrol
At the point of commencement to the four seasons activities programme, you will have your very own ‘individual learning plan’ produced.  This will track/monitor your progress during your time with us. It is a form of portfolio which we build together with your input.
  • The end product will be a neatly bound/presentable document folder which you can actively use to enhance your potential success in finding community project work &/or employment.
  • Within this plan we set out a framework of developmental objectives which we work to develop within you. At every opportunity we encourage your self development / employment potential in favoured countryside areas by arranging voluntary work placements (set out with local work providers).
Through a variety of exciting & informative practical activities your understanding & interpretation of the countryside will build, enriching your quality of life.
  • The course will develop a solid base of knowledge in the flows of the countryside.
  • Throughout your time with The Great Out-tours, your work, experiences & personal skills development will be monitored & tracked via an ‘individual learning plan’. This document will be produced to form a portfolio that both during & after your programme participation, will enhance your pathways to community project work and/or a career in the countryside.

"Since my husband joined The Great Out-tours his life is much more enjoyable. Under the kind and patient supervision of John  he is now able to do many of the DIY things the Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease had stopped him doing on his own.  He loves being outdoors doing the variety of things the seasons bring along. He really enjoys looking after the animals, especially the young when they arrive.  Monday and Friday mornings are now something to look forward to instead of just "another day".  We are so pleased we were put in touch with them. Thank you so much.“

Barbara (Wife/Carer)

"What a lovely website and thank you for wanting to share it! I've spent some time looking through all of the albums and Graham certainly seems to be enjoying himself. I saw him this week and he was telling me all about 'the farm' and what he does - he certainly seems very engaged with it all and it's great to know that he is learning valuable 'life skills' and getting fresh air and exercise too. My other brothers live in Canada so I will pass the details onto them as I'm sure they would like to see Graham in action!" Angela (sister of participant)

"I like the ducks & everything about them; collecting their eggs, letting them out & feeding them & seeing the chicks hatch out of their shells." Caroline

"I like outside on the farm; we cut the tree down & I like making the hurdle with sarah. I like Freddie the pig & making wild mushroom soup." Tim

"I think it's very, very, very nice to come here. I liked making the sty for the pigs & filling it with straw. I like collecting chicken eggs." John H.

"I liked making the bat box, bird table and drilling."  Nick G.

"The favourite part of my week is coming to the farm group. I really like seeing/holding the ducklings and lambs."  John C.

"I like coming here because it's fun. My best bit was not being afraid to stroke billy elvis the goat, when I got used to him." Wendy

"Just wanted to say 'great' and thanks! Steve looks happy, fulfilled and he's really contributing. Your benchmarking comments are useful too. The venture is very positive and most important. We really hope that it continues and goes from strength to strength." Dave (brother of participant)

"It's great. i love the goat 'elvis'." Graham

"I like seeing the lambs and kid goats. I really enjoyed making the wild wood dragonfly."  Emma C.

"I like seeing the chicks and ducklings. I enjoyed making the wild wood dragonflies."  John W.

"What a day! I enjoy it here, we sing farm songs."  Bob

"I can't thank you enough for the work you are doing with my sister. She looks happy & relaxed." Pam (sister of participant)

"Happy Christmas! Just to say how great the photos of Steve continue to be. You can really see how happy and fulfilled he is. Just excellent. Spoke to our Dad and he's thrilled too; it's really a great gift for him to see Steve's happiness. Thanks again and a Happy New Year to everyone at The Great Out-tours". David (brother of participant)

"I absolutely love using the drill and best of all taking my finished crafts back to my room."  Eric E.

"I love comimg to the farm group and having fun with everyone! I really enjoy seeing all the animals and holding/stroking them."  Rachel B.