Hartshill Hayes Country Park has been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) quality badge for the first time.
It joins two other Warwickshire country parks – Kingsbury Water Park and Ryton Pools – in receiving the quality badge for outdoor educational services.
Hartshill Hayes extends to 137 acres offering woodlands, open hilltop meadows, and panoramic views over the Anker Valley.
The woods are ancient and species rich, making it an ideal place for learning about wildlife, nature, and history. Facilities include playground, toilets, and an outdoor shelter. It currently offers five school programmes and is looking to expand this offer in the future.
The LOtC quality badge recognises both the quality of the learning outside the classroom, and also the safety of the setting.
It was launched in 2009 as part of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, a national initiative to ensure young people are given more opportunities for varied outdoor experiences as part of the curriculum.
Cllr Heather Timms, the county council's portfolio holder for environment and heritage and culture, said: “Educational trips are among the most memorable experiences in a child’s school life and there is a wealth of evidence to support the benefits of learning outside the classroom. We are passionate about developing young people and bringing adventure into learning in the outdoors to transform and inspire lives.
"We are delighted our hard work has been acknowledged with this award for Hartshill Hayes Country Park and we are looking forward to welcoming more schools visiting us.”
Many of the activities offered at Hartshill Hayes support the curriculum and also teach important lessons such as leadership skills, environmental awareness, personal responsibility and teamwork.