Discover and learn

Discover nature with us at our events or on our nature reserves

©Helena Dolby for Sheffield & Rotherham WT

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has welcomed thousands of pupils from schools, and delivered an inspiring range of hands-on nature activities which are enjoyable, memorable, relevant and designed to bring pupils of all school age closer to their natural environment, as well as boosting achievement and improve practical skills and knowledge across all key-stages

Why visit us?

  • Our environmental education is packed with learning opportunities, delivered by qualified leaders and experts.
  • Visiting our reserves will make a real difference; inspiring pupils, boosting achievement and personal and social development.
  • We have some of the UK’s most scientifically important nature reserves here in Nottinghamshire, for pupils to explore and discover whatever the weather or season.
  • We deliver education at our three flagship nature reserves Attenborough, Idle Valley and Skylarks, each promising memorable and positive learning experiences.
  • We provide activities and accessible facilities for pupils with access and learning needs.
  • Our education centres are fantastic places to introduce everyone to the wonders of the natural world. We have dedicated education staff who run year-round, seasonally-based programmes, open to all schools as well as community groups of all ages.
Otter holt Skylarks Notts WT
PPL 2017 Fernwood Forest School Chinese visit

Schools and formal education

We have two outstanding locations for formal education visits, Attenborough Nature Reserve and Idle Valley Nature Reserve.
Both sites offer a range of different habitats to explore and investigate. Our qualified education team are experienced in working with groups of children and young people, along with pupils with access and learning needs. Sessions are also assisted by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers.

We offer a range of activities for each Key Stage and tailored to curriculum themes, and our programmes are open all year round.

The Engagement Team are creating new content for this page. We are developing a new menu of activities for all ages. Please email for more information about visits. Our current pricing structure can be found here.

For all enquiries, please contact our engagement team 
on 0115 9721777, email or complete this contact us form.

Digging pond Wildnet wildlifetrusts_40575572531

Further and Higher Education

Our nature reserves across Nottinghamshire offer a wealth of fantastic opportunities for students in Further and Higher Education. We are passionate about providing unique and specialist learning opportunities for students and can offer tours and talks for student groups and study / research opportunities.

For more information, please contact our main engagaement team
on 0115 9721777 or email

Alternatively, complete this contact us form with your enquiry.
More information about all of our nature reserves and conservation work can be found here.

Training course

Training courses

Our suite of training courses for adults covers a wide range of wildlife related subjects including species identification, survey skills, art, photography and more. Every course is led by experienced professionals who are experts in their fields. Courses are graded for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels to help you to identify which course is suitable for you.

Delivered from Attenborough Nature Centre and Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre, our Wildlife Training Courses promise a rewarding learning experience delivered on some of the most diverse and habitat rich wildlife environements in the county.

For more information please follow this link for booking details and our training programme

Young Rangers Mini beast hunting

Wild birthdays

Our children's parties offer something a little bit different. We like our party guests to have an amazing time - but also get outdoors in the fresh air and learn something about nature and wildlife. Our experienced party leaders know how excite children about wildlife and the outdoors through games, art, treasure trails and searching out Attenborough's animals and plants. 

Parties are held at weekends throughout the year and any day during school holiday periods (subject to availability). 

For full details of wild birthdays, click here.

To book a party please contact our main education team on 0115 9721777 or email  

Find out more and book your visit

For full education programmes please visit our Attenborough centre website to download session plans and full activity programmes for all learning ages (Foundation, KS 1- 4 and A Level)

Please discuss availability and visit preferences before submitting your booking form:

For Skylarks Nature Reserve and general enquiries: 0115 95882, 
For Attenborough Nature Reserve and Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre: 0115 9721777,

Environmental Learning (KS1-KS5)

Foundation Level
Go wild about art, follow the Very Hungry Caterpillar, build your very own bird’s nest, or find lots of creatures in the pond. These are just some of the fun activities. Suitable for nursery, preschool and foundation stage children from 2 to 5 years old. Sessions last for approximately one hour. Pick your own selection of three activities for a full day or two for a half day.
For more information click on this link to take you to the Attenborough Education web page.

Key stage 1
Making music in the woods and dressing up like a duck are all part of a visit to Nottnighamshire Wildlife Trust. Add in some wonderful habitats to explore and your visit will be fun and you will learn lots too! Activities last for approximately one hour. Pick your own selection of three activities for a full day or two for a half-day.
For more information click on this link to take you to the Attenborough Education key stage 1 web page.

Key stage 2
Exploring different habitats may be a popular choice amongst teachers, but you could also become a Wild Scientist, generate your own renewable energy, or find out about the Green Man.  Activities last for approximately one hour. Pick your own selection of three activities for a full day or two for a half-day.
For more information click on this link to take you to the Attenborough Education key stage 2 web page.

Key stage 3 - 4
Investigate three different habitats at our reserves. Pupils will how to sample and identify species and investigate the effects of humans on these habitats.
For more information click on this link to take you to the Attenborough Education key stages 3-4 web page.
A Level and further education
Our AS/A2 programme offers non-residential day courses to cover relevant aspects of the Biology, Applied Science and Environmental Science specifications.
For more information click on this link to take you to the Attenborough Education web pages about A Levels and btec studies.

Booking your visit
Please follow this link to download our booking form. Please ensure you have confirmed your date and visit needs with our team before you complete and submit this.

Wildlife Watch Groups

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Watch family events and activities are a wonderful way for the family to enjoy the outdoors together. Family events include discovering the habitats on our nature reserves, arts and crafts sessions, wildlife exploring, and much more.
Our centres at the award winning Attenborough Nature Centre near Nottingham and the Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre near Retford are great places for the family to visit all year round and offer a number of facilities such as nature tables and natural play areas as well as a full events programme including Wild Tots, Wild Kids, children’s birthday parties and other clubs and activities.

Learning for Everyone

Ever wondered how to tell the difference between a water vole and a rat? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to know how to take better wildlife photographs? Here at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust we have a passion for wildlife and we are keen to pass on our skills and experience to others who share our interest in the natural world.

Each year we run a variety of training sessions designed to help people gain new skills so that they can enjoy the wildlife on their doorstep and help us do more to protect it.

If you would like to discover more about Nottinghamshire’s Wildlife or would like to develop skills so that you can get more involved in wildlife conservation check out our ‘What’s On’ events guide for details of training events across the county.

Work Experience

We are currently unable to accept any applications for work experience placements for young people.

However if you wish to get practical experience for your CV or try something new then why not think about volunteering with either our Young Ranger Program or Keeping it Wild Youth team

Become a Young Ranger  Join Keeping it Wild

Wildlife Watch

Wildlife Watch groups offer a fun, wild and fantastic time for kids, and we have groups which meet up every month across the county. Watch groups are like a wild club for kids, packed full of wildlife activities and aimed at 8 – 12 year olds

Find out more

© Emma Bradshaw

Young Rangers

Young Rangers is for those aged 13-18 who want to get involved with practical conservation! No experience is needed, just enthusiasm and an interest in protecting wildlife

Find out more

Keeping it Wild

Keeping it Wild is all about coming together and doing great things for nature. Keeping it Wild are the 13-25 yrs old ambassadors for Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust who are speaking out for nature, organising events and even managing their own reserve. 

Find out more

Our Reserves

We offer a wide ranging programme at the reserves listed below including half and full day programmes with schools and community groups, training courses for adults, family events, children’s wildlife clubs and birthday parties, guided walks, illustrated talks and much more.

Attenborough Nature Centre

Attenborough Nature Centre is an award-winning education centre and visitor attraction located at Attenborough Nature Reserve, a nationally important wildlife site close to Nottingham and Derby.

email or call 0115 9721777 to speak to one of the education team.

Contact Us

Attenborough Nature Centre

Skylarks Nature Reserve

With it’s attractive wetland habitat, Skylarks Nature Reserve is the largest nature reserve in Rushcliffe. It was specifically designed to ensure easy access for wheelchair users becoming the first accessible nature reserve in the UK.

email or call 0115 958 8242.

Contact Us

Skylarks Nature Reserve

Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre

The Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre is the gateway to exploring the beautiful Idle Valley Nature Reserve, a nationally important site for wildlife close to Retford.

email or call 01777 713941 and ask to speak to one of the education team.

Contact Us

Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre