Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation: Yew Trail Outdoor Classroom

What will students see and do?

The Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation owns acres of mixed woodland on the grounds of Ulverscroft Manor, which includes the Yew Trail Outdoor Classroom. These woods, near Markfield in Leicestershire, include way-marked paths with information boards about the trees and plants. Most of the paths are accessible for those with mobility or sight disabilities.

Along the trail are several different types of activity stations, including a bird hide, yurt and sites for shelter building. Activity packs are available with details on the different methods of construction for students to follow when building their own shelters.

The Discovery Den serves as an outdoor classroom environment and hosts nature trail activities. Students can pick up trail activity packs there or try dogwood weaving to make simple sculptures using branches collected from along the Yew Trail.

Students can explore the wetlands area of the woods, learning about the plants that grow in those conditions. A pond dipping area sits at one end of the flight pond. If you plan to include a trip to the pond as part of your classroom trip, make sure students have appropriate footwear like wellies for sploshing in the shallows.

Teaching resources provided

The foundation provides many activity sheets covering a variety of topics for use during your day on the trail. The sheets are available for download from the website – contact their office to get login details to access them. The office can also email the sheets to you in advance of your trip.

The worksheets are divided by Key Stage to ensure age-appropriate work. For some topics, there are several versions based on year group. The list of available sheets includes:

EYFS Level: Animal trails; Natural sculpture and crafts; Shelter building; Use your senses; Yurt crafts

Key Stage 1: Bird hide; Exploring the woodland; Minibeasts; Natural sculpture and crafts; Pond dipping; Plants; Shelter building designs; Trees; Woodland games; Yurt crafts

Key Stage 2: Animals – nutrition/invertebrates; Bird Hide; Living things – animals/plants/pond animals; Plants comparison; Tree parts; Natural sculptures and crafts; What different plants need; Plants, flowers and seeds; Seed dispersal; Pond dipping – how the animals feed; Water minibeast key; Shelter building designs; Woodland human impact.

Details of risk assessment

The foundation has completed a full risk assessment study for the Yew Trail and the surrounding grounds. Group leaders are encouraged to visit the trail in advance to help with risk assessment for your group and evaluate the site as an outdoor classroom.

Even if you have brought a group in the past, teachers and group leaders are encouraged to do a new advance visit as the grounds are constantly being changed and improved.

On the day you arrive, foundation staff will be on hand to meet your group and can assist with leading activities during the day.


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

icon for A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

Opening times

The Yew Trail and Ulverscroft grounds are open from 10am to 4pm weekdays. Appointments can also be scheduled for larger groups.


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Book your school trip to Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation: Yew Trail Outdoor Classroom

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

Book your school trip to Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation: Yew Trail Outdoor Classroom

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

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