Past Programmes

OASES has successfully helped to deliver the following opportunities to schools and settings, enabling them to access outdoor learning and global sustainability education opportunities for FREE or at a reduced cost.


On behalf of the North Pennines AONB, OASES developed six, curriculum linked, education resources as part of their landscape partnership scheme Fellfoot Forward. The resources are designed to support schools and youth groups to use Talkin Tarn to enhance their curriculum delivery and provide opportunities for children and young people to experience nature. The resources encourage schools and youth groups to step off the path and discover the large variety of habitats and learning opportunities that the site has to offer.
Two CPD sessions were held at the Tarn, allowing teachers and educators to experience the site and gain ideas for how they could use it to enhance the curriculum. OASES also created a family pack which inspires families to discover the full breadth of the site and connect with nature through fun, family friendly activities.

Using geothermal energy from former mines, a process known as mine water heating, an increasing number of homes and buildings are starting to be heated in the North East and other former mining regions. In response to this, OASES and Durham University developed the Black to Green Project, funded by UKRI, which enabled one school to learn about the coal mining heritage of their area and then look to the future, learning about mine water heating and creating an animation and exhibition to show the local community how it could be used in their area to heat commercial greenhouses.


UK STEM and OASES developed an exciting project called H2 the Future, which was funded by The Institution of Engineering and Technology. 778 pupils from Primary and Secondary schools took part in a H2 the Future workshop from schools across the Tees Valley and South Durham area, where they got to build and power a hydrogen buggy. During the workshops pupils learnt about energy (what it is, how it is stored and how it is converted), the evolution of transport, and hydrogen (what it is, why it is useful in energy storage, how fuel cells work and how find wind turbines can a play role in the process), the process of electrolysis and green futures.


OASES North East worked in partnership with CEED on a Derwentside AAP funded Street Trees project to engage primary school children in the district in mapping and learning about the variety of trees in their neighbourhoods. Street trees play a vital role in regulating local air quality as well and benefitting nature and our wellbeing. 


OASES North East have pioneered the delivery of forest bathing programmes specifically with children.  Funding from The Wellesley Trust from the Community Foundation allowed OASES to deliver this pilot project for OASES forest bathing leaders to develop and deliver mini programmes in two schools in County Durham in the school grounds and at local nature sites.   OASES found the children felt calmer and more relaxed following their time forest bathing. 


OASES North East delivered the Heritage Lottery Funded My School My Planet project at 2 schools in County Durham on behalf of national school grounds charity Learning Through Landscapes.

Funded through the Covid Recovery Fund, the programme aimed to help pupils re-engage with school based learning following the Covid lockdowns of 2020.  One class of pupils in each school took part in 8 days of outdoor learning around a chosen theme in their school grounds and at local sites of interest in their neighbourhood.   This was a personal learning journey that allowed the children to explore their own individual cultural identity and heritage within the context of the natural world around them in their own school and neighbourhood. 

As a result deep personal connections and learning took place that the children expressed and interpreted through local action and creativity.


Breathing Space was designed as a way of improving relationships between figures of authority (Durham Constabulary Police and teachers) and young people who are considered disaffected or at risk of offending. The programme used forest school practices as a way of engaging the young people, encouraging them to ‘work’ alongside Durham Constabulary PCSOs. The project had a ground-breaking feel to it from the start, in the main because of the focus on bringing the police and disaffected young people together into the same space to work cohesively to achieve tasks together.  As anticipated the project improved relationships at a personal and institutional level. A number of gains were achieved, not least underlining the value of how the outdoor setting is hugely conducive to connecting people with nature and with one another. 


Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP and the Nineveh Trust funded this exciting initiative that was working with 5 schools to help children learn about and improve local wild spaces, gaining the John Muir Award (an internationally recognised qualification) in the process.  The pupils had the chance to plant trees, create bird boxes and undertake litter picks to improve their local areas. 


This exciting project enabled 10 schools from County Durham to experience site specific art and create a fabulous art installation as part of Lumiere.


Across the world, people are waking up to the issues surrounding single-use plastic and the impact plastics are having on the natural environment. In response to this, OASES received funding from the East Durham Rural Corridor AAP to take action and help to educate school children about the environmental and social impact of plastic use and how to make more sustainable choices about resource consumption.


Six schools in Durham AAP took part in a 'blooming good' project that saw edible planters created by local schools for Durham city town centre.  The recipient schools were supported to design and planted up an edible planter for their school grounds and an identical arrangement for Durham city centre.  The Durham City arrangements, were to help towards RHS Durham in Bloom. 


The School of Rocks educational programme, funded by The North Pennines AONB Partnership, enabled four primary schools from within the coalfield area, just outside of the North Pennines AONB, to explore both their own geology and coal mining heritage and to compare this with the geology and lead mining heritage of the North Pennines AONB area. Through hands-on and outdoor experiences, such as visiting Killhope lead mine and repairing a drystone wall, pupils explored how differences in the Carboniferous period geology (specifically the ore deposits) manifested in differences in the social, economic and environmental makeup of their local area (coal mines) and the North Pennines AONB area (lead mines).


OASES worked with Durham Heritage Coast on this project, the OASES team delivered a range of exciting experiences for Easington Colliery Primary School children to engage them with Hawthorne Dene.


Funded by BBC Children in Need, Growing Together helps children and their families to grow and cook produce while spending quality time together.


OASES were successful in securing BBC Children in Need funding to deliver the Growing Together Family Learning cooking and growing after school clubs in 8 further schools.  OASES supported families to develop school growing spaces in their school grounds so they could grow their own food to take home.   Families that took part in weekly after school club sessions throughout the school year learning new healthy lifestyles skills together.


Building a Waste Free Future, funded by Chester-le-Street Area Action Partnership and delivered by OASES, worked with 6 primary schools to educate children about global resource depletion and local plastic pollution. Children were able to observe the single use plastic waste created in their own households by creating ecobricks; these were made into sculptures of words chosen by the children (HOPE – CARE – HEAL – LIFE – SAVE – HELP) that made them think of the natural world and the importance of protecting it.


Derwent Valley AAP has made it possible for four schools in the Derwent Valley to work towards gaining their Green Flag Eco-Schools Award with support from OASES. This award enables schools to become more eco-friendly, whilst teaching the pupils about some of the most important environmental issues we are facing today.


Sunderland’s LEAF fund enabled 5 schools in Sunderland to achieve their John Muir Award at Roker Beach. The children learned all about the problem with single use plastic and litter getting into the sea.


Children in 8 schools across the Derwent Valley achieved the John Muir Award thanks to funding from the Derwent Valley AAP, Tesco’s Bags of Help, Garfield Weston and the Barbour Foundation. As part of their award they made bird boxes, did litter picks, planted spring bulbs and did water quality surveys on the Red Burn and the River Derwent.


OASES helped four schools to get their eco schools awards- two of these schools achieved the prestigious Green Flag award. This project was funded by the Coalfields SIB.


Schools across Durham city joined together to help improve the newly planted Newton Hall ‘Doorstep Orchard’ with OASES. This project was made possible by the People’s Postcode Lottery. They planted trees, and learned all about orchards and made it possible for the community to pick the fruits each autumn.


Working alongside Artichoke, the producers of Durham’s Lumiere, OASES was working with County Durham schools to produce a fantastic illuminated display, based on the patterns found in nature in the telescopic and microscopic scales.


OASES have delivered Illuminating Waste for three years running. School children across Consett and Chester-le-Street learned about litter, recycling and single use plastic, and used their knowledge to create sculptures out of clean waste, which were showcased in switch on events around Consett and Chester-le-Street town centres.


Funded by the Derwent Valley AAP, OASES worked with four schools and one Brownie Unit to each plant their own orchard in the Derwent Valley. Every child also made their own apple crumble or apple flapjack using local surplus apples. One class from each school made their own fresh apple juice and jam or fruit skewer.


A programme working across the North East and Humberside supporting schools to investigate the offshore wind industry and associated opportunities, funded by Forewind via HETA


Following the success of Fruitful Schools, Learning through Landscapes have gained further funding to encourage young people to develop orchards within their community.


Following the success of the pilot project, funding from Public Health has enabled the Growing Healthy Project to be rolled out across County Durham.


A Heritage Lottery Fund grant for a partnership project led by OASES has enabled young people in Sunderland to understand the unique heritage that has shaped their local landscape. Pupils had the opportunity to learn plant identification skills and map work techniques during several field trips and in-school support sessions, involving the local community. The participating schools were also supported to create wildflower meadow in their grounds to enhance the local biodiversity and provide an outdoor learning resource. 


This web resource has been produced on behalf of the Durham Heritage Coast funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It has been designed to be a stimulating and engaging resource whether used in the classroom or on a site visit at Horden on Durham's north east coast.


Working on behalf of Learning Through Landscapes, OASES is delivered a fully funded initiative that sought to establish orchards within school grounds.


Schools studied and made their own habitats in a fun packed day of Science and Design Technology. Sponsored by Deerness Structural Engineering and Design Limited.  


Funded by the Ernest Cook Trust this project took groups of young people from four Durham schools and taught them traditional skills like coppicing, dry stone walling and pyrography.


Part of Durham County Council’s, Heritage Lottery Funded Limestone Landscapes Project, OASES administered funding for schools to go on funded visits to experience and learn about the biodiversity, industry and culture that exists because of the Magnesium Limestone Landscape. 


Delivered as part of the Lumiere Festival of Light, the Litre of Light Project aims to illuminate the consciousness of primary pupils.  OASES has successfully delivered the Litre of Light Project for the last two festivals, delivering school workshops to teach the children about the Litre of Light charity, the global importance of light and the need to develop sustainable light sources.  Pop bottles decorated during the workshops were used at the Lumiere festivals to form light displays.  


OASES enabled the production of the WWF musical in Durham schools alongside Durham's Music Service.  Helping pupils to appreciate the plight of animals around the world.


A transition programme that encouraged battery recycling and sustainable thinking.  Sponsored by SANYO, ERDF and supported by Project C (NETPark).


SHOCFlood was a new two year project funded through the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and delivered by OASES.  The project worked with eight communities in priority flood risk areas and enabled the schools to lead these communities in reducing flood risk, in partnership with the Environment Agency and Climate North East. 

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