Are you looking for something for your school, playgroup or youth group? We cater for groups of 8 to 32 and for children aged 2 to 17, of interest to boys and girls. Learning outside the classroom has many benefits both physical and mental. At Valley Farm we offer a range of activities to suit different types of group.
We are open as a visitor centre. £1 per child or £2 for adults. (Teachers/Group leaders go free.) It takes about 1 hour to look round, or longer if you include the farm walks. Picnic area/café available.
Guided Tour and Pony Rides
Younger children may enjoy a guided tour of the animals followed by pony rides.
Equestrian Activity Days
3 or 4 groups of approx 8-10 children rotate and have a go at 3 or 4 activities eg Riding, Carriage Driving, Horse Care, Vaulting (other options available) Hot lunch in the onsite café can be provided. See our activity days page for more details.
Nature activities organised by schools own teacher. Stay as long as you want.
Residential 5 day holiday
A wide variety of fun and educational equestrian activities organised by us. See our riding holidays page for details.
Regular term time group riding lesson, can be arranged after school or during the day.
A number of schools visit us every year. Nearby groups come by coach for the day, or part of the day. Others make use of the camping facilities and stay for longer.
Some like to make use of our facilities in order to teach thier own topics. Others enjoy themed days or come in daily for activity weeks run by us along similar lines to our Summer Pony Camps.
If your school or youth club would like to join us for an activity day or week, or would like to book a regular slot, please contact us to discuss your requirements and we can work out a quote for you.
We are Ofsted Registered, BHS Highly Commended, Multi Award Winning, Pony Club Centre, Licenced with SCDC. For more safety information please see our how to book page.
For ridden activities the children will need riding boots and a riding Hat to current safety standards.
Facilities at Valley Farm include:
Why not try some of the following suggestions for nature days?
In addition to the equestrian activity days run by our staff, we also offer our facilities for nature days as described below.
We welcome school parties of any age group. Teachers can organise activities suitable for their group. We have made some suggestions below to get you started.
We have Woodland, Hedges, Ponds, Dykes and Marsh and Grassland. The River Deben borders the farm. We have Activity sheets/information packs to cover many subjects or teachers may bring their own.
Woodland Walk -
With leaf and tree identification sheets which trees/hedges can you see?
Take bark rubbings of different trees how do they vary?
Find the age of the trees using the Tree age worksheet.
How do trees and plants spread their seeds?
Can you see any young trees that may have seeded from the larger trees?
Compare the shape and size of the trees and how much light comes through the canopy.
Look to see which plants are growing in the shade and which ones are growing in the sun, compare size, number of stems, leaves, colour, flowers etc.
Can you find any small creatures living under the leaf litter on the ground?
Which creatures may live in this environment?
Minibeast identification using the worksheets see how many minibeasts you can find, use the "Minibeasts Food chain" worksheet so you know where to look for them.
An insect has... using the work sheet identify insects.
Can you find any burrows in the woodland, what may be living there?
Unnature walk look for the items you wouldn't expect to see on a wild life woodland walk - look closely some may be hidden.
Rainbow Ramble - Look for leaves, Flowers, Berries, Birds, Insects & Butterflies. Can you see items which match the colours of the rainbow?
Mammal hunt look for tracks and droppings indicating Deer, Fox, Hedgehog, Moles, Rabbits, Bats, mice and more.
Make a Map Stick -
As a group look for features to remind you of your journey through the wood look for feathers, wool, leaves, horse hair, grasses to attach to your stick. Use coloured wool to indicate things you cannot actually put on your stick such as Birds singing, Wild flowers, Berries, Birds, the River etc. Attach these to your stick in the order you come across them to remind you of your journey.
What can you hear - Sit/stand in a circle close your eyes and listen to all the sounds. Can you hear the wind in the trees, birds singing? What other sounds can you hear?
If you can hear a bird singing can you find where the bird is sitting look in the trees and hedges, using your bird guide can you identify it?
Can you see any bird nests? (be careful not to disturb the nest)
Where else apart from trees and hedges may you find birds nests?
Bird survival hunt - Activity sheet. Each child is a small bird and has to find/see various food items as listed on the activity sheet.
Using a net and a shallow tray find out what is living in the water. Use the Water Minibeast guide.
Identify the Water Minibeasts Has it got legs? Has it got antennae? Has it got wings? Has it got suckers?
Look for tracks and burrows.
How are the plants growing near the water different from those growing in the woods?
Can you see any birds on or near the river? Can you identify them? How do you think their diet may vary from the birds living in the woodland and hedge rows?