Hamsterley Forest

OASES holds the learning licence for Hamsterley Forest, a delightful 2000 hectare oasis of mixed woodland lying between the Wear and Tees valleys, following the path of the Bedburn Beck. 

Nestled within a sheltered valley, Hamsterley Forest contains a vast array of habitats (woodland, grassland, aquatic) facilitating an exciting range of learning opportunities for all phases.

As well as providing a beautiful backdrop in which to learn, rest and play Hamsterley Forest also boasts toilet facilities, two forest classrooms, a tea room, an extensive selection of play structures and an outdoor lunch area. Schools visiting the forest can expect a wonderful day whether studying the forest itself, walking the various trails, playing on the equipment or getting wet doing river studies.






(Running from 24th April 2017 until 23rd July 2017)

EYFS – Gruffalo Discovery
Come to find the Gruffalo in the deep dark wood
Key Stage 1 – Plant Detectives
Learn key features of plants and trees within the woodland
Key Stage 2 – Habitat Explorers
Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment
Key Stage 3 – Forest Orienteering
Use your map work skills then set and follow trails in the forest


The Gruffalo is returning to the deep dark wood at Hamsterley with a whole new adventure! 

Follow clues and search for signs along our interactive trail— using The Gruffalo Spotter app point your phone’s/ipad camera at footprint markers and watch Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake, and the Gruffalo appear before your eyes!     OASES can provide iPads for your visit when you book an organised visit with ourselves.






Bespoke packages are available upon request.  For more details on possible bespoke sessions download the Hamsterley Bespoke School Sessions.  Bespoke packages cost roughly £300/day.

Schools wishing to complete a self-led visit should fill in and submit the attached Self Led Booking Form.  Please note that the forest classroom is available for hire at a cost of £50/day.

Directions to Hamsterley Forest.

Normal Forestry Commission parking charges apply to ALL visits.

If you have visted Hamsterley Forest we would be grateful if you could complete the Forrestry Commision's wide learning activity feedback survey below:  



Outdoor and Sustainability Education Service
The EWE Centre,
Esh Winning Primary School
The Wynds, Esh Winning,
Durham, DH7 9BE

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