close icon

Inspiring Young Minds to Embrace and Cherish the Environment

Share article:

Article by:
Laura McMahon, Marketing and IT Manager, British Deer Society

Inspiring Young Minds to Embrace and Cherish the Environment

Imagine the heartwarming sight of over 500 primary school children from Leeds and the surrounding areas, gathering at Ledston Estate for a three-day outdoor learning event. Despite facing challenging weather conditions, these young minds radiated enthusiasm and resilience. Through a collaborative effort with Countryside Learning and partners, the British Deer Society (BDS) was delighted to support this opportunity, with a shared commitment to nurturing an enduring appreciation for the environment in the generations to come.

Read More About The Event

In October, BDS lent its support to an event where more than 500 primary school children, hailing from Leeds and its vicinity, embarked on a day of outdoor learning at Ledston Estate, orchestrated by Countryside Learning. While many of these children had limited exposure to natural environments, let alone the relentless rain that sometimes engulfed them, their boundless enthusiasm and unyielding spirit remained undeterred. Torrential rain did nothing to extinguish their playfulness and wonder.

Over 540 primary school children, aged 7 to 11, were welcomed without cost. In line with Countryside Learning’s mission: to educate, inform, and inspire children, parents, and teachers, instilling in them an appreciation for the countryside and a deeper understanding of the multitude of issues it encompasses.

One of the organisation’s flagship initiatives is the Countryside Classroom program, which invites children to country estates and suitable locations, offering a carousel of curriculum-linked activities at no cost. These activities are often led by estate staff, Countryside Learning Education Officers, or generously supported by partner organisations including the BDS.

The core themes of these educational days revolve around interdependency, habitat protection, and adaptations. The children are taught about the Countryside Code, engage in educational games, and sometimes simply revel in play. The aim is for these young minds to leave with more questions than answers, reinforced by the diverse array of activities they encounter. During our time at Ledston, Morris Charton of the BDS had the privilege of showcasing the world of deer to these young minds including developing an understanding of how deer, as a species, are uniquely adapted to their habitats. The children’s questions were thought-provoking, often exceeding the expectations for primary-level students, yet Morris skillfully addressed them in a manner suitable for their age.

Every child is exceptional, and teachers frequently emphasize how well students who may be less engaged in traditional classrooms thrive in outdoor environments. It’s heartening to witness them collaborating to solve challenges, whether it’s locating hidden items, constructing dens, or discerning whether an antler is bone or skin. As the day unfolds, we see the children relax, departing muddy, content, and armed with a deeper understanding of the natural world.

Ledston Estate Education Event Oct 23

Typical feedback from these amazing participants often echoes sentiments like this one: “Class 7 loved our trip to Ledston! Due to our school’s location, many children from Middleton rarely have the opportunity for such experiences. The workshops you provided yesterday were inclusive to all children in my class, including those with special educational needs. It was heartwarming to witness so many smiling children genuinely enjoying themselves! Your outdoor learning staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming, displaying remarkable patience, even when some children were a bit cheeky. The children were particularly enthralled by the camouflage activity, especially wearing the face paint!”

Anna Hare, Countryside Learning Education Officer commented:

“At Countryside Learning, we hold no doubt about the significance and relevance of our work. We are profoundly aware of the invaluable support from partners like BDS in enabling us to provide such enriching days to over 15,000 children annually at locations like Ledston. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the BDS for their unwavering commitment.”


The BDS wants to improve everyones understanding of deer, deer welfare and deer management you can help us by:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Your choice regarding cookies on this site. We use cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience.