Seeley Copse is 7.5 hectares of ancient woodland on Goodwood Home Farm that, for the past 30 years, has been given over exclusively to educational use. Two hundred years ago chalk was dug from part of it to make mortar for the House and Estate walls, which has resulted in holes and hills that the nature trail climbs and winds around. In the last century parts of it were coppiced and a variety of exotic tree species planted, although management was infrequent. Selective felling in 2009 has allowed more light into the woodland.
Educational activities fall into two main areas: science and environmental studies, and art and design technology workshops. All visits will be tailored to the requirements of the group, but will be based around the following themes:
Key stage 1 & 2
Walk the trail to detect signs of wildlife, discuss adaptations and food chains. Search for invertebrates. Make a minibeast hunt in different habitats, including grassland, leaf litter, trees and bushes, and dead wood. Use ID sheets and keys to identify types of invertebrates, Make clay creatures and natural sculptures.
Get to know a tree: activities in the glade include role playing parts of a tree and the life cycle. Measure and draw your tree; meet a tree – blindfold! Explore the Tree Trail: discover the range of ways trees play an important part in our life, find leaves, bark and fruits to identify different species using simple keys. Art activities: green man tree faces, leaf and bark rubbings, journey sticks and chalk and charcoal pictures.
Solar powered plants are our lifeline to the sun. take part in activities relating to life cycles: photosynthesis, pollination and seed dispersal; observe what helps and hinders growth; discover how plants have adapted to their environment; find and collect fruits, seeds or leaves according to the season, and make close observational drawings or natural sculptures. Combine with a farm tour to relate to plants cultivated for food.
Rocks and Soils Discovery
A series of activities allows children to sort and identify our collection of rocks and soils; and experiment with particle size and porosity. Be prepared to get dirty! Follow up with a woodland and farm walk to discover the local rocks and soils, and how they are used.
This is a popular technology workshop where children can work with an adult to design and build temporary shelters within given parameters. It is an excellent team building exercise, as communication is a key to success. Although this workshop is usually for Y5 or Y6, younger children can make small scale ‘animal shelters’ effectively. It is often teamed with a woodland walk and journey sticks or a natural sculpture session.