All educational visits are free of charge, and if your school has never visited the Elan Valley before, you may be eligible to claim towards the transport costs associated with your visit! Please ask the Education Ranger for more information.
Booking a visit
Please contact the Education Ranger on (01597) 810390 to arrange provisional dates. It would be beneficial at this point to discuss in detail the topics you would like to study, or you may wish to arrange a pre-visit to do this.
Due to the small number of education staff at the Visitor Centre, all groups must bring with them a suitable number of adults to assist with the activities. For many of the activities it is necessary to have small numbers of pupils in each group (for some our maximum is 16). Each group must be closely supervised, especially when water topics have been chosen. It is essential that there are two adults per group, giving a ratio of 1 adult to 8 children for water activities (such as pond dipping) and a ratio of 1:10 for all other activities.
Health and Safety
We have been awarded the 'Learning Outside the Classroom' Quality Badge, an award which is given to providers of high quality teaching and learning experiences in a safe outdoor environment. We were also the first site to be listed in Wales.
Risk assessments have been produced for all educational activities carried out on the Elan Estate. Copies of these are available to staff leading educational visits on request. Staff in charge of visiting educational parties are held fully responsible for the conduct of all members of their party whilst on the Elan Estate. The overall welfare and health and safety of the pupils are the responsibility of the visiting group's staff.
We also have a generic health and Safety document: Safety Information For Educational Groups, click on the link to view this important information. Elan Valley Ranger staff are qualified First Aiders and are DBS checked.
All pupils must wear trousers and have waterproof clothes available, even in summer as the weather is very changeable throughout the year! Appropriate footwear is essential, preferably walking boots or other footwear with good non-slip soles. Wellies are not normally required - please check when booking. Even in warm weather, shorts and skirts are not recommended due to the increased risk of tick bites, particularly when visiting woodland areas.
Pupils should bring their own packed lunch and drinks. During very warm weather it may be necessary for pupils to take a drink out with them during the activities, as well as needing a drink at lunchtime. Indoor facilities at the Visitor Centre are usually available if the weather is unsuitable to picnic.
The Visitor Centre shop is open all year for visiting school parties to use.
If educational groups would like the opportunity to visit the shop, it must be built into the day's programme in order to allow no more than fifteen pupils in the shop at once. If you would like to visit the shop, please make this clear when booking the visit.
Alternatively if there is not enough time for a visit to the shop or if the pupils are very young we do offer a selection of goody bags. These can be ordered beforehand and simply collected and paid for on the day.
All equipment is available free of charge but, if broken or damaged by a pupil, the visiting group will be required to contribute towards the cost of replacing the broken item.
Conservation / Weather
Many of the habitats and sites used for educational work are primarily managed for their conservation value, as a consequence this may mean that at certain times of year access to a site may be restricted (e.g. if a bird is nesting in the area or if the area is becoming damaged due to overuse). Other circumstances that may make a site hazardous could include prolonged dry periods, sudden heavy rainfall, windy or icy conditions. In any such situation, suitable alternative activities will be provided where possible (e.g. if it is excessively wet we may bring material into the classroom).
To make a booking, please contact the Education Ranger first to discuss your requirements and to find out avaialble dates before sending a booking form.
You may download official safety information here: Safety Information For Educational Groups