Secondary schools at the Arboretum

We welcome groups to the Harcourt Arboretum throughout the year. Groups are welcome to arrange joint visits with the other museums and collections of the University, especially the Museum of Natural History.

Our sessions are not classroom-based but include a variety of hands-on activities.  We aim to promote a love of the natural environment, to support and encourage future generations of ecologists and conservationists.

About school visits

The Arboretum offers a range of sessions to enhance the curriculum for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. A visit typically lasts between one and two hours, and has a capacity of 30 students.

Please note that there is a charge for all education sessions. Our sessions fill up quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Our sessions

Azalea and Handkerchief Tree

Woodland ecology at the Arboretum: Key Stage 5

Explore a variety of natural and managed environments: meadow, woodland, coppice and plantation. Discuss the concept of diversity and the impact of management strategies upon it. Try out sampling techniques, collect data, calculate species diversity and make comparisons.

Wildflowers and Bee

Art at the Arboretum: All Key Stages

There is a great deal of seasonal interest at the Arboretum, and the most popular times to visit are late April for bluebells and October for autumn colour. The suggested length for a visit is between one and two hours.

Groups will be met on arrival at the Arboretum. Students and teachers will be given a short introduction to the collection, told about the best places to work and the expectations of the Arboretum staff.

Teachers can choose whether or not to have a longer introduction to the collection in which students are told about the work of artists associated with each venue.

Seeds in the Meadow

Conservation Preservation: Key Stage 5

This session covers the importance of habitat, species and genetic diversity; the role of classification in understanding species diversity; factors that put biodiversity at risk; and the conservation process.


Session Max numbers Charge
Secondary school half-day session facilitated by Education Officer 60 £100.00
Secondary school full-day session facilitated by Education Officer 60 £200.00
Add-on to facilitated visit: Self-guided sketching (45 minutes) 35 £20.00
Bespoke school programmes (full day, selection of workshops) Flexible Contact us
Outside lunch space at the Arboretum (45 minutes) 35 Free (but must book)

How to book

You can make a booking enquiry online or call us on 01865 286 693, to arrange your visit.

You will receive booking confirmation with our standard terms and conditions. An invoice will follow.

Information for your visit

Find out more about how to prepare for your visit, what to expect during it and follow-up activities for afterwards. 

Not a UK school?

Due to limited education staffing and high demand from UK schools, we cannot run facilitated sessions for schools visiting from outside the UK. If you would like to visit the Arboretum please book a group visit

Booking your visit

Dawn Redwood at the Arboretum

Contact us

You can also contact us directly at for more information or to make a booking. 

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