Learning outside the classroom2018-11-08T13:44:26+00:00

Learning Outside the Classroom

External Classrooms and Educational Opportunities

The Wheler Foundation, in conjunction with other organisations, hosts various educational days and estate visits. All visits must be pre-arranged.

Woodland Tutorials

The extensive areas of woodland on both the Ledston and Otterden Estates are used by school groups for woodland tutorials arranged by various organisations including the Country Trust and Countryside Learning

These can be full or half day classes and allow children to learn about woodland in a location where they can actively experience them.  Information is combined with games to engage the students and development is hugely enhanced by the out of classroom learning environment.

The students cover a range of topics including tree identification and characteristics, wildlife habitats and the animals that depend upon woodlands.

Classroom Facility

The Foundation converted some dissused traditional stone buildings on the Estate into a fully equipped classroom with large open plan classroom, kitchen and bathroom and hand washing facilities.

This allows school and education groups to visit the estate all year round to enhance the learning experience.

This facility is available to be used by educational and local groups/classes.  If you are interested in booking the facility please contact us (details contained in the Contact Us page) a fee may apply in certain circumstances.

Ledston Estate Countryside Live Days

Every year the Ledston Estate hosts and sponsors a two day Countryside Live event in the historic park and woodland. This is an event organised by Countryside Learning and in 2018 was attended by over 3,500 school children and their teachers from 50 different schools from all across the Yorkshire region.

This event offers an invaluable opportunity for a hands on practical experience enabling children to learn about a multitude of rural practices including: all aspects of agriculture, equine care, cookery, rural crafts, and rural pursuits to name just a few.  The event is attended by a number of rural professionals and businesses who take the time to teach the children about the countryside and their role within it.

2018 saw the 13th Annual Countryside Live event at Ledston.

In addition to the Countryside Live event, each week during term time schools visit to take part in woodland activities including den building, mini beast hunts and tree identification.  The number of visits increases year on year, with 64 classes booked in for 2018, an increase of 21 on 2017.

Otterden Estate, Estate Visits

The Otterden Estate hosts and sponsors a one day event in June organised by Countryside Learning.  This enables up to 250 school children and their teachers to learn about the countryside, although so popular was the event in 2018, that an additional day for 150 children had to be run in July.

These days again offer an invaluable opportunity for practical learning in and about the countryside

In addition to the above Estate Day, around 1,000 children attended various other woodland sessions held in April, June and October.  The total number of children visiting the Estate has doubled in the last three years and we hope that this figure continues to go up.

View some thank you letters here:

Thank you letter 1
Thank you letter 2

Please contact Carter Jonas if you are interested in participating in one of these events or a school visit.


“Organisers and exhibitors were without exception, helpful, friendly and extremely well informed and organised. Children were excited and enthusiastic about the whole experienced and wanted to tell everyone back at school all about it. Thank you for a wonderful day”
Primary School teachers

Feedback from Ledston Live event
“We had an excellent day and the children loved it. We will definitely attend next year, as we felt the level was just right for primary pupils and the size of the event was just right”
Primary School teachers
Feedback from Ledston Live event
“We have used the day to aid writing with reason and all Science work next term is based on ideas from the pond dipping activity.”
Primary School teachers
Feedback from Ledston Live event
“We have enjoyed the last two years and it has spurred us on to develop our extracurricular work largely based on your ideas, resources and experiences gained from the day. Thank you so much.”
Primary School teachers
Feedback from Ledston Live event

“Our objectives for the visit was to provide the children with a fun day out which was educational, our objectives were very much met, with the visit covering many curriculum subjects”
Primary School teachers

Feedback from Ledston Live event