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Bickley Hall Farm

Cheshire Wildlife Trust's main office and farm education facility.


Bickley Hall Farm is a 210 acre (86ha) organic working farm located just outside Malpas in the heart of rural Cheshire. As the HQ of Cheshire Wildlife Trust) the farm has a dedicated nature trail leading off the popular Sandstone Trail walking route.

As part of a wildlife-friendly farm management regime supported by Natural England’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme our species-rich hay meadows and pastures along with their flower rich margins and wild bird seed plots, bordered by diverse hedgerows are great for invertebrates, small mammals and in particular, hundreds of feeding farmland birds in autumn and winter. Our fields of spring sown cereals with overwintered stubbles host hundreds of finches and other seed eating birds and our mosaic of wet meadows, intersected by a network of ditches and scattered ponds are managed specifically for wintering and breeding wading birds.
 


 

 


The Bickley Barn

Bickley Hall Farm is now home to a purpose-built countryside classroom nestling inside one of our 100-year-old traditional cattle barns at the heart of the farm. This all-weather facility complements the array of outdoor habitats such as ponds, meadows, hedgerows and an orchard, which are just seconds from the classroom door.

The barn has two fully equipped teaching rooms, boys' and girls' washrooms (including disabled access), a small kitchen, plenty of bag storage and a patio area with picnic tables to enjoy lunch overlooking the farm.


A visit to Bickley Hall is a unique chance to immerse youngsters into the world of the countryside and nature on a true working farm, with our staff able to bring you closer to rare newts, butterflies, dragonflies and a wealth of underwater aquatic wildlife.

Our Great crested newts
The farm is home to the endangered Great Crested newt. As we have a special licence to handle them carefully we are able to give the children a unique opportunity to get ‘close up’ with the newts and handle them too.

Our Great crested newts

The farm is home to the endangered Great Crested newt. As we have a special licence to handle them carefully we are able to give the children a unique opportunity to get ‘close up’ with the newts and handle them too.
 

Education days for your school at Bickley Hall Farm

The countryside offers an invaluable teaching resource. The visit can be used to teach many aspects of the curriculum through learning about farming and the countryside. We can offer a combination of packages to suit individual needs these include:

Pond dipping - The children will work in small groups collecting pond creatures and recording what they find. We will then study them in more depth on our big screen through a goose necked camera. 1½ hours. CL - KS1 & 2 Science.

Dragonfly Workshop (suitable for Yr’s 5 and 6) – This workshop will look closely into the life cycle of Dragon and Damselflies (hopefully we will have seen some during the morning). The children will make a dragonfly on a stick to take home. 1 hour. CL - KS2 Science & Art.

Creatures of the Night Workshop – This workshop will look at which creatures inhabit the habitats at Bickley Hall Farm at night and the children will make a bat hat or a clay hedgehog to take home. 1 hour. KS1 Science & Art.

Newt workshop – Seasonal March to June only - An interactive, ‘hands-on’ talk with live animals used to inform the children of the life cycle and lifestyle of our native newts. They are then given a unique opportunity to get ‘close up’ with a great crested newt as they are allowed to handle them carefully. 1 hour. CL - KS1 & 2 Science.

Minibeast Hunting – Using the farmland at Bickley Hall Farm the children will go on a Minibeast Hunt. They will search the grassland, hedges and trees using demonstrated collection techniques. 1 hour. KS1 & 2 Science. CL - KS1 & 2 Science.

Seasonal food on the farm - Looking at how the farm is providing food for both people and wildlife during the four seasons. The children will get a chance to cook something seasonal for their lunch. Half day. CL – Science and Food Technology.

Wild English - Throughout the seasons there are many opportunities to develop literacy skills outdoor. This session can include creating and telling stories and poetry inspired by the outdoor experience. A naturally framed piece of literature will be made to take home. Half day. CL – Literature.

Wild maths - Using the natural environment children will engage in a number of mathematical exercises to find out things like, how old a tree is, how tall a tree is, how we estimate wildlife populations in nature and how we use counting to help us identify species. Half day - CL Maths.

Natural art - Children will create many varied pieces of art using natural materials and the wonderful colours abundant in nature. Half day - CL Art.

Wild weather – The children will learn how to monitor and record weather conditions at Bickley Hall Farm, become a weather forecaster for a day and look at how weather affects people and wildlife. Half day. CL - KS1 & 2 Geography.

Environmental Games – The environmental games session will reinforce the messages of the day and give the children a chance to apply what they have learnt in a fun way.

Green Christmas - This session will be a celebration of Christmas and its place in the natural world. The children will learn about how Christmas can be made more environmentally sustainable. Make green gifts such as nest boxes and bird feeders, turn recycled Christmas cards into gift boxes, new cards and labels and make Christmas decorations from natural materials. Half day. CL - Art and design, Design and technology.
 

Cost:

Full day of activities - £250 for a group of up to 30 children
Half day of activities - £175 for a group of up to 30 children
Larger groups can be accommodated so if you would like to bring more children then please talk to us.

For more information contact Jan Shone: jshone@cheshirewt.org.uk

Downloads

FilenameFile size
bickley_hall_farn_flyer.pdf2.3 MB
activities_program_for_bickley_hall_farm_food_farming_2017.doc255 KB