Hamsterley Forest Led Visits

The Team at OASES can organise a led visit for your class/school to visit Hamsterley Forest. The OASES team have held the Education Licence at Hamsterley Forest for the last six years and have experienced staff who can lead your groups confidently and efficiently around Hamsterley Forest.

We offer an extensive range of sessions to help Engage Pupils within Hamsterley Forest. You can choose the curriculum content of your visit by selecting from our sessions below or alternatively we can tailor a session for you. There are a wide variety of sessions which are adaptable to enable covering all key stages requirements.  

As part of your led visit OASES will carry out all the relevant risk assessments for your visit and will supply your school with all the necessary paperwork involved in planning a school trip to Hamsterley Forest.  Also included within the cost of your visit is the use of the Forest Class Room.

Please complete the attached Led Hamsterley Visit Enquiry Form and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible. The completed form should be sent to bookings@oasesnortheast.org.uk



Superworm is the latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Schaeffer book to be brought to life at Hamsterley Forest. Discover the small but mighty creatures in the much-loved story and learn about the everyday heroic feats of minibeasts in the forest.

OASES can organise a led visit around the Superworm trail and provide linked activities that bring the story to life!

Den Building

Learn how to plan your own watertight shelter utilising a variety of structures, natural materials and a healthy combination of team work, creativity, and problem solving skills! Your forest den can serve a variety of purposes, in any number of scenarios, and with countless added challenges. Be prepared to get very hands on!

Environmental Art and Crafts

The natural environment abounds with wonderful resources to create natural art and design creations, installations and pictures. Limited only by your imagination you’ll explore textures, materials, and colours to create your very own kaleidoscope of creativity!

Fairies in the Forest

A good story becomes a brilliant one when explored in the great outdoors. Take literacy to dizzyingly new heights with an adventure forest walk all wrapped up in words and wonder!

Homes and Habitats

What better way to delve into natural science through a hands-on experience of local wildlife, their habitats and survival behaviours. Through games, tasks and problem solving scenarios, pupils will learn how to identify and classify wildlife and will be quick to discover truly intricate links and adaptations in food chains and webs within the local ecosystem.

Julia Donaldson Discovery

Immerse yourself in one of the stories of Stickman, Superworm, Zog or Gruffalo– or a combination of them all as we take you on a literary extravaganza matched only by the stunning surroundings at Hamsterley Forest! Speaking and listening will take various forms as part of a creative session with communication at the very core!

Minibeasts and Wildlife

A world within a world will open up as we venture deep into the forest armed with all the tools necessary to truly observe what lives above, below and around us! Learning how to observe, classify, record and share these insights will take various forms as we journey into new natural discoveries!


Learn how to apply basic navigation and map reading skills to complete our delightful orienteering course that will take you around the River Bedburn loop and leave you considerably more confident negotiating the natural landscape!

Rainforest Survival Day

Our most popular session, we can promise you an all-out action experience that will not only require every team member to contribute but will serve as a brilliant consolidation to curricula outcomes on woodland structure, biomes, rainforests and world geography. Not to mention some of the more colourful and exotic species on Planet Earth!

River Studies

The River Bedburn will guarantee a truly unique outdoor experience every time as it runs its course that little bit differently each day! Working in groups, pupils will immerse themselves in measuring, recording, observing and responding to the river profile, flow, depth and all the associated physical landscape features. Be ready to go with the flow in your all action learning journey.

Sensory Exploration / Forest Bathing

This delightful activity will leave you spellbound as we explore our senses in the woodland environment and learn the value of natural connections. Led by trained Forest Bathing practitioners, the group will be guided into and given the all-important time and space to soak in the atmosphere around them. Children learn in different ways and these sessions allow you and your pupils to experience the woodland using all your senses. Immerse yourself in learning and experience the sights, sounds, smell and feel of the forest.

Survival Skills

The Forest is the perfect place to learn how to survive. The skill of survival comes into focus in this energetic and thought provoking session as you learn how to build a shelter to keep you warm and dry! A variety of interpretations of survival from that of the individual, the group and indeed the natural environment itself will consider everything from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and group dynamics, to survival instincts in the natural world and importantly, how we as humans play such a pivotal role global sustainability and survival.

Team Building Challenges

The Forest is alive with ample opportunities to discover what is needed to work in a team to solve problems, reach targets and overcome challenges. Aside from the elements, the physical geography and woodland terrain, OASES staff will ensure that every pupil engages with the adventure! These activities are ideal if you are bringing pupils from different classes or are trying to create groups who need to work together i.e. transition days.

Trails and Tales

Following a trail is synonymous with the Forest and Hamsterley will more than live up to expectations! For KS1 pupils we will take you on a winding course through the woodland following either a Donaldson themed or bespoke trail.  KS2 pupils will work closely with each other and the natural surroundings to create their own fantastic fun trail for others to follow where the story itself will unfold naturally. Trail themes can be adapted to tie in with different curricula topics.

Tree and Plant Identification

The vast array of different species of woodland flora and fauna will be explored in a wide ranging toolkit of resources that will bring out the artist, the poet and the scientist in all of us! Similarly, the science curricula will be delivered through plant identification (coniferous and deciduous trees), flowers and grasses, and plant structure.

Woodland Maths and English Challenges

Maths and English is well and truly exercised in this outdoor and active learning approach to this core curriculum area. The wonder of literacy and numeracy will suitably complement the myriad hidden opportunities in nature. ‘Sticks and stones won’t break my bones’. In fact, they are very useful for maths an denglish! Come to the Forest for a very natural approach to the core curriculum elements.

Woodland Myths and Legends

The legacy of “Storytelling in the Woods” is intertwined with myths and legends from folklore of old. Take a brave step into the past to weave your literary way around Forest to encounter the mythical magic of trees!

Bridges and Balances

Design and technology concepts are brought to the forefront through various forest based challenges that will give pupils the chance to test their own balance and teamwork skills with slacklines, pulleys, rope and natural materials.  This challenging STEM related activity will introduce pupils to forces and levers as they negotiate an array of nature based experiments and challenges!


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