What will students see and do?

Since 1943, Field Studies Council (FSC) has strived to provide opportunities for school children to study living plants and animals in their natural environment.

One of its sites that does this is FSC Malham Tarn in North Yorkshire. The site is based around a Georgian fishing lodge on the northern shore of Malham Tarn and is surrounded by the 147-hectare Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve. Both the reserve and the centre buildings are owned and managed by the National Trust.

Famous limestone features are within walking distance of the centre, such as Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and spectacular karst landscapes. The Pennine Way footpath runs close by the buildings and nearby habitats include limestone pavement, grazed and ungrazed grassland, woodland and species-rich fen, acid peat pools and stony hill streams. Malham Tarn itself is one of only eight upland alkaline lakes in Europe.

FSC Malham Tarn offers 15 primary school courses and 60 secondary school courses that bring your subject to life in the outdoor classroom. These range from adventure and teambuilding activities to biology, geography and maths classes taking inspiration from the surrounding landscape.

If none of the subjects suit your class, you can also just visit for a walking tour that explores the natural history and wildlife of the local area, including geology and archaeology.

Teaching resources provided

FSC has put together several resources on its website to assist with learning before, during and after your trip, as well as to invite those passionate about nature to learn more about it.

This includes accessible, student-friendly resources for all fieldwork topics required for the main exam boards in biology and geography at ages 14-16 and 16-18.

There is a range of bite-size, captioned videos presented in the field by FSC’s experienced tutors, worksheets in printable and online formats and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) story maps, which can be used to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and display spatial data.

FSC also has a subscription-based digital hub designed to complement the popular free resources. Whether you are looking to introduce your students to a particular field skill, to develop investigative skills or to encourage deeper thinking in experimental design, the virtual fieldwork on the Digital Hub will have the resources you need.

Small groups can even attend fieldwork investigations that will prepare them for designing their independent geographical investigation, with the opportunity to collect data (individually or in groups) and then work on their own to contextualise, analyse and report their work.

Minimum and maximum group size

Get in contact to discuss.

Details of risk assessment

Field Studies Council supports the same risk-benefit approach to risk assessments for outdoor activities that Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have adopted – that taking acceptable intellectual and physical risks can result in the growth and development of young people. Get in contact to discuss.


Don't miss our downloadable A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

icon for A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

Facilities on-site

Visitors can look forward to accommodation that sleeps 105, a licensed bar and games and activities on-site for children aged eight and above.

There’s also a student common room in Tarn House and High Stables and a disabled access room, including an en-suite wet room in High Stables.

On-site you’ll also find a kitchen, a visiting staff lounge area, a shop that sells drinks, snacks and souvenirs of your stay, and five classrooms – one of which can be used as a conference room.

Opening times

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm



Varies depending on course and experience – get in contact to discuss.

Travel arrangements

Malham Tarn is seven miles from Settle station, eight miles from Giggleswick station, three miles from Malham village and seven miles from the A65 at Settle. Detailed directions are available on the website.

Field Studies Council has partnered with First Travel Solutions (FTS) to help reduce the cost of coach travel for academic groups – if you would like to receive a quote from FTS, get in contact.


FSC Malham Tarn, Settle, North Yorkshire
BD24 9PU

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Book your school trip to Field Studies Council – Malham Tarn

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

Book your school trip to Field Studies Council – Malham Tarn

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

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