Information for Schools
(Renewal of our Lotc award is in progress)
A visit to the Botanic Garden can be a very rewarding and memorable experience for children. We have an extensive living collection to explore. We welcome schools and hope you decide to visit.
It may be possible to be given a tour by Mike Hughes, Head Gardener. Please enquire when you book your visit. We can only accommodate a maximum of 30 children on each tour. Please contact Mike email@example.com (tel 0191 3345522) to discuss your requirements. Please note a teacher is required to be with the children for the tour.
Tours are offered to all ages, but are particularly relevant to 7-11 year old children studying plant adaptations. A tour of the garden covers most of the key points of Sc2 : Life Processes and living things.
More usefull links for schools here:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - Schools and young people pages -http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/society/schools/schools-index.aspx
Science and Plants for Schools- http://www.saps.org.uk/
Secondary schools are very welcome and are invited to contact us to discuss your specific needs. We have lots to offer and will do what we can to make your visit a valuable and memorable one. It may be that you might want to visit us and survey our wildflower meadow or that we can provide some plants for you to use at school.
If you would like to send us some pictures of your trip for this website it would be much appreciated. In the mean time here are some comments by children who have visited in the past (under construction).
Read here about a trip by some younger children from a local school.
Booking your visit
If you wish to visit us you need to book your visit by contacting us. Schools arriving without prior booking of their visit may, regretfully, be refused entry due to the fact the glasshouse will be overcrowded.
To book your visit please contact Event Durham firstname.lastname@example.org (tel 0191 334 2887)
Alternatively you can fill out the online enquiry form
Developing your own garden?
If you would like advice on developing your own school grounds a visit to the Botanic Garden is well worthwhile, more information here.
As you will be aware, you are required to do a risk assessment before you visit.
We have compiled a Plant Science Trail for around the garden and we can send you bound copies of this at 50p each plus £1 to cover postage. Please send a cheque payable to 'The Friends of the Garden' to obtain copies. Alternatively, you are welcome to download the guide and make your own copies for educational purposes.
We have a fun trail marked out around the garden which takes in some key points on the science trail as well as some other interesting places such as the beehive and a tree stump where children can count the age of a tree. The trail is easy to follow and is an ideal activity for helpers and teachers to take the children on if the class is too large to fit in the greenhouses all together. We can provide clipboards and the quiz sheets on arrival. The quiz is varied slightly over the season.
There is a section of the greenhouse, namely the Glassroom, which can be made available to schools. The space can be used for practical activites or it can be used as a place to eat your packed lunch if the weather is wet. There is no charge for access to this section and you will have exclusive use of this area for your visit, if you have booked. There are hand washing facilities in this section.
We have several glass cabinets in the glassroom with various scientific specimens on loan from our School or Biological and Medical Sciences and our Geology department. These are quite interesting and are particularly useful if the weather is wet. There are all sorts of interesting exhibits which are useful if the weather is not so good, such as fossils, a weaver bird nest and a selection of corals.
"PLANT SCIENTISTS INVESTIGATE, ....at school and at the botanic garden". This is an excellent resource with some great modules your can download. There are four main areas covered, Conservation, Art, Food and Experiments.
Website : http://www.plantscafe.net/
Only a short walk from the Botanic Garden is our Oriental Museum. A visit here is well worthwhile and is a popular choice to make maximum use of a full day away from school. We are currently working with the museum to produce some linked activities and themes so that a tour of the museum makes a logical progression from a visit to the Botanic Garden. We are looking to grow plants such as flax (used to make linen to wrap mummies) and already have other plants such as Papyrus, rice, cotton and tea. Plants are often used as the inspiration for decoration in oriental pottery and many of these plants can be seen in the Botanic Garden over the season, poppy, cherry blossom, chrysanthemum and bamboo for example.
You are welcome to use the Glassroom and picnic benches around the garden to eat your packed lunch. We do expect that you recycle as much as possible, and we will provide separate bins to recycle :
- General waste
You may wish to view our recycling and composting area as part of your visit.
Please note the only toilet facilities are in the Visitor Centre at the main entrance.
All children (including under 5 yrs old) are charged £2.00 each, teachers and helpers have free entry. This charge also includes entry to the Oriental Museum should you wish to visit there on the day of your visit. Children will also be given a 'boomerang' ticket which gives them the opportunity to visit the garden again for free. This ticket is valid for up to 3 months after the date of their school visit.
There is no charge for a tour (if available).