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Secondary and Further Education Courses

Science, Geography, Creativity

Daws Hall offers KS3, KS4, AS or A2 visits across the curriculum and tailors each visit to the specific requirements of the group, syllabus/specification and season. We have fantastic habitats, facilities and resources available for day visits and field courses at competitive rates to support our small charitable trust.


Our reserve is ideal for environmental studies across biology and geography and we are able to offer unique experiences such as small mammal trapping for population studies, moth trapping, direct access to the River Stour and tributaries and examples of successional plant communities. We also have a number of interesting geological features and the opportunity to explore the full reserve through a brand new professional orienteering course.


Our 25-acre private nature reserve is also the ideal setting for secondary art, photography and media and we are passionate about increasing visits of this kind across the seasons to appreciate the full beauty of the reserve. The Stour valley has long been inspirational for artists and indeed John Constable painted Daws Hall itself.


In addition to our subject specific programmes, we can also offer alternative learning options such as mindfulness in nature, bush craft, team building, and environmental ethics. We are passionate about the natural world, conservation and sustainability and take great pride in providing inspirational outdoor learning. Please see example ecology and geography based programmes below for your consideration.


Example Programme – Introduction to Ecology (KS3)


9.30    Introduction to Reserve and day, key ideas in Ecology

Habitats: show examples of wildlife footage from remote cameras on the reserve. Discuss food chains beginning with primary producers and the important of plant communities in creating habitats.

10.00  Botanical sampling; demo quadrats on lawn (random/ systematic/ density/           frequency/ cover etc)

10.15  Comparison of two meadow areas. 5 x 0.25m2 quadrats at each sampling site (frequency out of 4) maximum therefore, 5x4x8 =160. One group to test soil pH at each site, all recording sheets to be collected and taken back to schools for collation.

11.30 Invertebrate sampling: Collect terrestrial invertebrates from two sampling  locations, differences in organisms discussed.               

12.00  Lunch – Classroom

12.30  Freshwater; comparison of river and brook. Give info on factors to measure and pollution. Suggest possible null hypothesis for investigation.

Samples at each site per group, recording environmental factors, kick sampling and record of animals.

14.45  Discuss trends in data and think about food pyramids. Conclusion of course.

15.00  Depart



Rivers Day Example – KS3 or KS4, timings and equipment depending on group requirements


10.00 Introduction: Daws Hall facilities, staff and students, wellington boots and waders,    health and safety, conservation of sites

  • Fieldwork sites: maps and aerials on the screen, geology, maps for each student

  • Clipboards with recording and background information

  • Examine river and tributary, look for examples of various river processes, revise terminology

  • Sketches, photos, maps

  • Identify sites for comparison 

11.30 Equipment: Demonstrate use and each group practice

  • Flow meter and stop watch, rubber bands, metre stick, two pegs, tape measure, white trays, waterproof gloves, pebble size and shape card, callipers, quadrat

  • Optional equipment: suspended load bottles and sechii disks, TDS and pH meters and beakers

  • Shared Equipment: pairs of ranging poles, clinometers

  • Safety line (for river)

12.30 Lunch

13.00 Experimental Design

Measurements: Groups record measurements of choice at a number of sites leading to the confluence of Losh House Brook and/or comparisons between brook and river.

  • Width, wetted perimeter, depth

  • Flow rate

  • Measurements or estimates of bed load

  • Suspended load, dissolved load and pH

14.45 Collate data on spreadsheets, Discussion/conclusion

15.30 Depart



A Level Biology – Two Day Course Example

First Day


9.30    Introductions

  • Site, course and Ecology

  • Opening moth trap and brief analysis.

Community Study: meadow plants

  • Introduction to techniques for botanical sampling.

  • Comparison of areas in the meadow by random sampling, investigating the effects of management (cutting and grazing). Collation of data

  • Brief analysis of results

Population Study; grasshoppers

  • Population size and structure of the meadow grasshopper. First sample/ marking.

Ecosystem Study: freshwater

  • Freshwater Ecology; pollution and other factors affecting distribution and abundance.

Environmental measurements in Losh House Brook and the River Stour.

  • Introduction to the invertebrates in the brook and river.

Population Study; small mammals

  • Set small mammal traps in two areas of woodland.

16.00 Finish

Second Day


9.30 Collect mammal traps, collate and analyse results;

comparison with previous years data.

Ecosystem Study: freshwater

  • Continue with sampling for invertebrates in the river and brook.

  • Correlation between invertebrate diversity and flow rate. Use of Spearman’s Rank.

  • Collation and analysis of data, including looking at the effects of eutrophication

Population Study; grasshoppers

  • Second sample including measurements

  • Analysis including a look at population structure and changes with time.

  • Discussion and demonstration of other sampling methods for terrestrial invertebrate populations.

Community Study: succession

  • Transect recording plant frequency from dry meadow to open water in the pond.

16.00 Depart



Please note that spring and summer terms are our busiest time at Daws Hall. If you would like to visit to our beautiful reserve, please contact us now to select your date and book.


Please use the contact button for bookings and information.

Many thanks for your interest!

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