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Learning outcomes

Most pupils will understand/be able to:

  • The need for safe and sensible behaviour, especially using tools, and responding to instructions
  • Listening skills, co-operation and trust; and understand that these are important during group activities
  • Recognise the contribution made by themselves and others during the activity
  • There is a variety of plants and wildlife in the local environment
  • The principles of conservation
  • The experience of success, a sense of achievement in responding to challenge

Some pupils will have the opportunity to:

  • Recognise effective teamwork and how it can be applied elsewhere
  • Describe different types of habitats
  • Be able to recognise and give an example of a food chain
  • Understand energy transfers in a woodland ecosystem
  • Explain a biomass pyramid in a woodland ecosystem
  • Appreciate that actions taken now affect future environmental quality
  • Understand the importance of looking after an area (Stewardship)

Key words/phrases

Biodiversity, Biomass, Brashing, Competition, Care/look after, Conservation, Eco-pile, Environment, Food Chain/Web, Future, Habitat, Habitat Stack, John Muir Award, Land Use, Organism, Pressure, ‘Think global, act local’.

Curriculum links


Recognise the importance of sustainability; earth


Environmental interaction Design and technology: plan and organise activities


Work in groups, different roles and responsibilities; participate in citizenship activities. This activity forms an integral part of the John Muir Award


Half a day


Woodlands around Hagg Farm and/or the Hagg Farm Wildlife Garden. Various other local areas in the vicinity of Fairholmes Ranger centre.


Session can be led by a member of visiting teaching staff, with a current first aid qualification. A National Park Ranger may also lead this activity.

Supporting materials

Conservation sheets, John Muir Award handbooks.

Health and safety

Appropriate clothing and footwear required. Cover cuts with a waterproof plaster; wash hands after activity; care for, use and return equipment/tools in good clean state. Safety pack (with first aid kit, emergency shelter etc), mobile phone, tools and any personal medication (inhalers etc). Risk assessment no.12. Pupil ratio 1:12

Activity session

  • Indoor discussion: conservation issues and care of wildlife. What do the students expect from the activity? Theme of ‘Think global: act local’, students contributing to looking after the environment. Discussion re how the activity contributes to the John Muir Award, if appropriate.
  • Discussion of teamwork, involvement and leadership.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment issued (incl. gloves and goggles).
  • Teacher gives full safety briefing on use and carrying of tools (secateurs, loppers, bow saws, rakes) and supervises very carefully during the activity.
  • Outdoors: brashing, clearance and construction of habitat stacks/eco piles.
  • Clearance of debris in the wildlife garden.


  • Have learning outcomes above, been met? Has the goal been achieved?
  • Discussion on conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, teamwork, cooperation, etc.
  • John Muir Award diaries, if appropriate.