High Weald

The High Weald is home to a wide range of important and rare wildlife and habitats, from heathland and wildflower meadows, to ancient woodlands and ponds. It is an ideal place for observing the natural world, inspiring curiosity and wonder, and scientific study. Use these interactive resources to explore nature in the classroom and outside.

Go to curriculum areas:

Curriculum areas: Living things and their habitats, Animals, Plants, Evolution

Nature v Nurture debate pack (KS2) – classroom.
• Encourages lively and topical debate, about whether trees should be cut down to keep rare heathland habitats like those on the Ashdown Forest.
• Gives teaching information, a lesson plan and activity sheets. Link to a class visit to the Ashdown Forest.
Additional Curriculum links: English, Geography.

Meadows play/assembly – classroom.
• A fun play with props, costumes and speaking parts for children, to them help understand why meadows are an important and rare habitat. For props/costumes, contact our Education Officer.
• Three versions for use in class and assemblies:

Meadows habitat activity sheets (KS1/KS2) - classroom.
• A wildflower meadow poster with things to spot (KS1) and multiple choice questions (KS2) about the habitat, wildlife and features shown in the poster.
• Teaching points include food chains, evolutionary adaptations and plants and animals in their habitats.

Wonderful Woodland Pack (KS1/2) – outdoors.
• Lots of fun, educational activities, including many of those below, to explore the rich woodland habitat of the High Weald.
• Contains background information and example risk assessments to support teachers.
• Run this yourself, or contact our Education Officer if you’d prefer a led session.
Additional curriculum links: English, Maths, Geography, Art.

Mirror walk activity (KS1/KS2) – outdoors in woodland. Equipment: mirrors.
• Exploring the woodland canopy.

Recipe for a woodland (KS2) – classroom with pen and paper or in woodland as a discussion.
• Exploring what woodlands need to survive.
Additional curriculum link: English.

‘How old’? activity (KS2) – outside with trees. Equipment - tape measure and calculator.
• Calculate the ages of trees.
Additional curriculum link: Maths (measurement, geometry, division)

Build-a-tree activity (KS1/KS2)
– outside or inside.
• Uses drama to show the parts of tree – could be simplified for KS1.

Leaf sizes (KS2)
– outside in woodland or in classroom after collecting leaves. Equipment – squared paper, pens, leaf ID sheet.
• Combines numeracy skills with leaf identification.
Additional curriculum link: Maths (measurement)

Minibeast sculpture activity (KS1/KS2) - outdoors in woodland or school grounds. Equipment: bug boxes (not essential, can just observe in situ), and minibeast ID sheet.
• Explore and identify minibeasts.

Marvellous minibeasts activity (KS2) – outdoors in different habitats. Equipment – ID sheets and habitat guides.
• Uses fieldwork to look at and compare minibeasts from different habitats.

Outdoor charades (KS1/KS2)
– outdoors.
• Drama activity for children to describe what they saw, discovered, learnt or enjoyed, following an activity in the outdoor environment.

Fancy fieldwork (KS2) – outdoors. Equipment – string, sticks, pens and pencils, tape measure.
• Working scientifically to make a quadrat and look at biodiversity.
Additional curriculum link: Maths (measurement and percentages)

Look remember find (KS1/KS2) – outdoors. Equipment – piece of cloth.
• A memory game with natural objects.

Pond dipping activity (KS2) – pond outdoors. To borrow pond dipping equipment and ID sheets contact our Education Officer.
• An investigative activity to learn more about what lives underwater.

Tadpole game (KS1/KS2) - outdoors. Equipment – card and rope.
• Activity about food chains.

Butterfly spotter sheets (KS1/KS2) - outdoors.
• Identify butterflies commonly found in the High Weald month by month:
April spotter sheet
May spotter sheet
June spotter sheet
July and August spotter sheet

Curriculum areas: Seasonal change, Observing natural phenomena and Exploring the local environment


Human camera activity – (KS1/2) – outdoors. Equipment – blindfolds.
• Observing landscape detail.

Un-nature trail (KS1/KS2) – outdoors, ideally in woodland. Equipment – several indoor objects.
• Spotting ‘un-natural’ out-of-place objects.

Silent listening activity (KS1/KS2) – outdoors. Equipment - blank postcards, pencils.
• A series of quiet reflective activities to help children engage with their surroundings.

Sounds and colours activity (KS1/KS2) - outdoors.
• Uses different senses.

Sense the view activity (KS1/KS2) – outdoors with a good view.
• Uses all the senses.

Journey stick activity (KS1/KS2) – outdoors on a walk.
• Collecting natural objects.

Find your tree activity (KS1/KS2) – outside where there are trees. Equipment – felt pen.
• Fun activity encouraging children to look at shapes in trees.

Expanding circles activity (KS1/KS2) – outdoors with a good view.
• Observation activity.

Tree hugging activity (KS1/KS2) – outside in woodland. Equipment - blindfolds.
• Sensory activity.

High Weald slide show activity (KS1/KS2) – outdoors.
• Observation activity looking at different natural objects.

Curriculum area: Rocks

Outdoor activities studying the special features of sandstone rock.
Contact our Education Officer to find out if sandstone outcrops are on your welly walk or nearby.

Sandrocks activity cards 1 and 2
• Exploring sandrock and its formation (KS 1/2)
• Touching the rocks (KS1)

Sandrocks activity card 3 (KS2)
• Looking for mosses and ferns
Additional curriculum link: Science (habitats, plants)

Sandrocks activity card 4 (KS2)
• Measuring the rocks
Additional curriculum link: Maths (geometry)

Sandstone exploration (KS2) - equipment required.
Additional curriculum link: Science (habitats, plants)

Sandrock sediment activity (KS2) – outdoors in school grounds. Equipment – old plastic bottles.
• Exploring how layers of sedimentary rock are formed.