Engaging with Heritage through Outdoor Learning

Written by: Elmtree Press

The New Forest National Park is a uniquely stunning place to visit and with the introduction of the government requirement for schools to visit a National Park there’s no better opportunity than combining a visit to the South Coast New Forest National Park and incorporate Outdoor Learning opportunities at Avon Tyrrell.
National Parks, History and Heritage, Outdoor Learning linked to the National Curriculum, Experiential Learning, Personal and Social Development – check! Avon Tyrrell has it all!
With a wide range of habitats on the doorstep to explore, Avon Tyrrell create tailor made experiential learning programmes ensuring all young people have the opportunity to experience, learn and develop.
Having just been quality assured and retained our Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) quality badge, Avon Tyrrell continues to sit as a quality provider of Outdoor Learning programmes and opportunities for young people
‘Experience, learn, develop’ really captures the concept of what Outdoor Learning is. For Avon Tyrrell, it’s not just about formal learning, but providing informal opportunities that ignite a sense of achievement and inspiration that helps young people reach their full potential, develop character, build resilience and have an opportunity to mature in a very unique environment - in an unrivalled environment.

Here’s a quick history lesson
Let’s take you back…In 1881, Lord Manners bought a race horse and went on to win the 1882 Grand National – With his winnings £28,000 (£2.8 million today) he built  the last ever Calendar house within the grounds of Avon Tyrrell. Avon Tyrrell is a Calendar house because it has 365 windows (days), 7 outer doors (days of the week), 52 rooms (weeks), 12 chimneys (months), and 4 wings (seasons) – pretty impressive.
During the war, Avon Tyrrell was requisitioned as an intelligence centre and hospital. In 1944 it was put in a trust, donated to the ‘Youth of the Nation’ and is now the home of UK Youth, the national charity for young people. It is interesting to note that Avon Tyrrell has been a residential activity centre for young people longer than it was ever a family home and actually has piloted many youth work programmes and activities that are now nationally recognized and used across the UK today.
Today Avon Tyrrell House is listed as Grade I and some of the grounds are listed Grade II. It’s an amazing place for young people to visit and stay, with charity staff who are fully committed to making visits for young people an amazing outdoor learning experience.
Find out more about our history here

So what does that mean for today?
Outdoor Learning can be inspired by opportunities away from the classroom and with such a deep heritage at Avon Tyrrell and locally across the forest, the centre really can offer something special through their programmes.
But, what does heritage actually mean? And how can young people continue to engage with it in new and exciting ways?
Heritage is a combination of history and sentiment evoked from the memories of a place, and Outdoor Learning opportunities to places like Avon Tyrrell, really do have a huge impact on young people.
 “I went to Avon Tyrrell in 1962. Loved it and will never forget it! Thanks to Avon Tyrrell, I still have an interest in Photography, Archery and Camping and became a Cub Scout leader before moving to New Zealand. I even still have contact with a friend who was with me at AT.”
Through engaging outdoor activities and programmes, each linked to the National Curriculum and the historical links of the site, Avon Tyrrell really helps young people understand the importance of heritage, what it means for Avon Tyrrell and the conservation of the local area.
At Avon Tyrrell you can see first-hand how young people become inspired by the environment, how they learn to engage with their surroundings in different ways and watch as they take a new outlook on working outdoor and protecting the environment.
One last thing…check out the Learning Outcomes Matrix to see what activities are on offer and how we match them to the National Curriculum to support schools and young people’s positive outcomes outdoors.
Contact details
Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre, Bransgore, Hampshire, BH23 8EE
Tel: 01425 672347 | Email: | Website: