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Learning at Durlston 

Durlston is a superb outdoor classroom, with a wealth of opportunities to enhance the study of geography, science, history, art and much more.

Outdoor Learning on the Jurassic Coast

Engraved rock at Tilly Whim. Photo: Simon Kidner

 Whether bringing students face to face with Britain's biggest insect on a 'Mini-beast Safari', leading a discussion on balancing the needs of visitors and wildlife or exploring 'Life on the Edge' in one of the largest Guillemot colonies on the South Coast, the Rangers can offer students an unforgettable day.

The spectacular coastal scenery includes headlands and bays, sea defence works and coastal erosion, and as a key Gateway to the World Heritage Site, a rich geological record as well as a unique Victorian legacy.

Durlston is a unique and inspiring site, offering a range of opportunities across the curriculum to bring learning to life.

Tailored to Meet Your Needs - the Rangers are pleased to work with teachers to tailor each session to your learning needs.

Learning Opportunities

There are many opportunities for your visit to Durlston.

Visit the Castle

A great starting point for your visit, with interactive displays, up to date information, AV room, geology gallery, souvenirs and educational material.

Cost: Free of charge, but you must book your visit in advance.

Discovery Sessions

Grasshoppers Revealed
'Wildlife Detectives' event

 

Ranger-led sessions to discover the wonders of the area. 

There are 9 topics to choose from, all linked to the National Curriculum, and many have associated worksheets for follow-up work.

Further information on Discovery Sessions.

Cost: £1–2 per child

 

 

Discovery Through Observation

The bird hide

Hire the observation hide overlooking the Wildlife Area at the Learning Centre.

The hide provides a great chance to observe wildlife at close quarters. A great base to begin your exploration of Durlston.

Worksheets, binoculars and reference books are available.

Includes a 10 minute introduction from a Ranger.

Cost: £15 per session (1 hour)

 

There's a Lobster in My Classroom!

School Group
School group games

 

Marine education pack for the classroom

Treasure chests full of information and useful props for an underwater voyage of discovery.

The teacher's notes help you to plan sessions.

Cost: 2 weeks £5 or 4 weeks £10

 

 

Activity Books

'Wild About Art' Children's Event
"Wild about art" event

 

Full of amazing facts, puzzles and investigative questions encouraging children to explore their surroundings. Linked to the National Curriculum.

(The activity books follow the Clifftop and Woodland trails.)

Cost: £1 each (discounts for large orders)

 

 

 

Durlston Management Plan CD

Return of the Great Green Bush-cricket
Great green bush cricket

 

An invaluable resource for educators and students studying Countryside Management, Environmental Science or Geography and Tourism at GCSE level, or higher.

Includes the Durlston Management Plan, Biodiversity Management Plan and an introduction to key issues and conflicts, with points for discussion.

An ideal companion to the 'Country Park Management on a World Heritage Site' Discovery Session.

More about Discovery Sessions

Cost: £10

 

 

 

 

 

Waymarked Trails

A good way to explore Durlston on your own is to follow one of the trails; Woodland, Wildlife and Clifftop (there is also the Victorian Trail that starts in  Swanage and follows the coastal path up to Durlston). Each trail is clearly waymarked and has an associated leaflet highlighting various points of interest to be seen along the route.

Cost: Trail leaflets 40p each

Local Schools Programme

Bee Collage
Bee collage

 

No-charge projects with local schools have included:

  • Assisting with wildlife surveys
  • Producing displays and artwork
  • Practical conservation work
  • Trialing new Discovery Sessions.

If your school is within the Purbeck area, get in touch to find out how your students can get involved with projects at Durlston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booking Essential

Important: Booking your visit to Durlston is essential, even if you only intend to visit the Park or follow the trails.

For further information please contact the Rangers on 01929 424443. We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Us

Durlston Country Park, 
Lighthouse Road, 
Swanage, 
Dorset BH19 2JL

Phone and Fax: (01929) 424443

Email: durlston@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk