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Engraved rock at Tilly Whim. Photo: Simon Kidner

Grasshoppers Revealed
'Wildlife Detectives' event

Bugs in the Grass
'Wildlife Detectives' event

Ranger and Telescope
New astronomical observatory

School Group
School group games

'Wild About Art' Children's Event
'Wild About Art' event

Bee Collage
'Wild About Art' bee collage

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

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

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 unforgetable 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

Visit the Castle

Cost: Free of charge

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

Discovery Sessions

Cost: £1–2 per child

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.

Please note, all Discovery

Further information on Discovery Sessions .

Discovery Through Observation

Cost: £15 per session (1 hour)

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

The hide is reached through the Visitor Centre and 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.

There's a Lobster in My Classroom!

Cost: 2 weeks £5 or 4 weeks £10

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.

Activity Books

Cost: £1 each (discounts for large orders)

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.)

Durlston Management Plan CD

Cost: £10

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.

Waymarked Trails

Cost: Trail leaflets 40p each

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 coastpath up to Durlston). Each trail is clearly waymarked and has an associated leaflet highlighting various points of interest to be seen along the route.

Local Schools Programme

No-charge projects with local schools have included:

  • Assisting with wildlife surveys
  • Producing displays and artwork
  • Practical conservation work
  • Trialling 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, 
Dorset BH19 2JL

Phone and Fax: (01929) 424443