GUIDANCE TO SCHOOLS REGARDING VISITS TO BRADGATE PARK DURING THE PANDEMIC

Any proposed visits must be advised to the Bradgate Park Estate Office and can only take place once agreement is confirmed. Please note advance notice should be  given at least 4 weeks of the visit and the Estate Office ([email protected]) is only staffed Monday-Wednesday.

Please be aware the Trust is not able to offer any school support at the moment. We are not providing any Risk Assessments and the school will need to provide a copy of a Covid safe practice Risk Assessment to the Trust Estate Office prior to the visit, which should include information on social distancing within the busy Estate.

Our Visitor Centre is closed.

Tearooms have limited seating with only a takeout service. This is reserved for paying customers and should not be used for rest breaks by visiting groups.

Our toilet blocks only have limited access which includes a strict access policy (one visitor at a time) and social distance queues.

Car parks are also often full as the Park has been extremely busy. Any visiting coaches, even for drop off must be booked in at an agreed time. There is no exit over the exit bridge and coaches will require staff support for safe exit (via the entrance). This will incur a coach parking fee even if not staying as this involves staff support. Outside the Park bays are closed off due to the Pandemic so there is no drop off point in Newtown Linford

If the coach is staying this has a charge. Please liaise with the Estate Office over this.

The Park is extremely, busy especially on the carriage way, which has a one way system that requires social distancing. We will only be permitting one visiting school group at a time. No groups of more than 30 should be visiting the carriage way as the Park is remaining at capacity daily. Our priority is to keep all visitors safe.

Further please note school  should not to enter the stream when visiting. The Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the permission we have to comply with legislation is for school visits  to be led by our staff and we cannot offer that at the moment. No permission is given for stream based activities by schools which are self-leading.

October is the rut and will be busy with photographers. All visits should ensure all children stay more than 30m away from deer.

Please provide  further details of what activities you propose and where you intend to visit on the Park – plus access arrangements via email to [email protected]

 


The Trust offer education sessions through our "Explore" program, but we know many schools wish to visit the Park independently.

It is essential that you contact us before your visit, so that we can advise you of anything that is happening on the day that may affect your visit.

If you would like to discover the Visitor Centre as part of your visit, please note that there is a charge of 50p per child for school groups and that we can only accommodate up to 15 children at any one time. Please indicate this on the booking form.

Please note that if you would like to go into the River Lin you will need to discuss this with us before the visit as there are restrictions in place as the river is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

As the Estate is of national importance, we encourage all visiting groups to bear in mind the following points:

Health and Safety

We want to ensure that everybody visiting the Park has a safe visit.

It is your responsibility to complete a Risk Assessment for your visit and, if needed, we can provide guidance on how to complete this.  We will need a copy of your Risk Assessment before your visit.

You will need to provide your own first aid support, but in an emergency contact our staff team who will provide assistance. 

The Visitor Centre and Tearooms do not undertake routine fire alarm tests during visitor opening times, so if you do hear a fire alarm, a loud continuous ringing, please leave buildings. (Although you may be planning to be outdoors, you may be using the toilets).

Helpful Practice

  • It would be helpful if children were brought in small groups to use the toilets or visit the shop/tearooms etc.

  • Please encourage children to enjoy the wildflowers, but not to pick them.

  • Please discourage any approach to the deer. Please ensure at least 30m distance. 

  • There is no cloakroom facility on site therefore, you will need to carry with you anything that you bring, e.g. coats and bags.

  • We encourage schools to take away all their rubbish and any resources they may have used during their visit, or to put items in the bins provided. Please leave areas clean where you may have worked or eaten. This includes using the picnic tables at the Deer Barn Tearooms.

Self-Led Activity Kits

To complement your visit we can provide self-led activity kits.  Currently there are two available.

Mini-beast hunt:

A kit box for a self-led mini-beast hunt is available to hire for £25.00 per day, or part of a day. It contains enough kits for a class to work in small groups of three to four children. Each kit contains everything you need to do your own mini-beast hunt, including magnifying glasses, collection tubs, brushes and spoons (for handling mini-beasts) and field guides to aid identification.

Viewing Pot forms part of the Kit

Orienteering:

We are able to offer a range of permanent orienteering courses. These provide the opportunity to explore the wider reaches of the 834 acres of Bradgate Park and discover more about the surrounding landscape, whilst keeping fit and enjoying a challenge.  

Orienteering involves completing a designated course looking for letters placed on posts which are described on an instruction sheet and marked on a specially prepared map. It is often described as an athletic treasure hunt and can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities.  Initially there is a sense of achievement from just completing the course and it is suggested this aim is kept in mind when embarking on one of the planned courses.

The kit includes everything for up to 30 children to try orienteering including compasses and maps (please note that the maps cannot be photocopied due to copyright restrictions).

Orienteering Mother and Son and Leaflets for Orienteering

Educational and life-long learning programmes at Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood are supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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