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Activity Summaries
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Courtesy Norman Jones

Secondary school resources


Greenham Common is open to the public and visitors can roam on the heathland and come across reminders of its recent history such as the nuclear bunkers.

It is recommended that school wishing to visit Greenham  make contact with the Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre which lies on the boundary of Greenham Common. They will help to co-ordinate with schools.

The  provision of escorted school tours is being reviewed and it is hoped that in the near future a more comprehensive service will be available for schools wanting to visit the common.

The Nature Discovery Centre provides a wonderful day out for all the family.  Walk around Thatcham Lake, visit our Reedbed Nature Reserve, feed the ducks and let off steam in the adventure playgrounds.  Enjoy delicious, organic refreshments served in our Lakeside Café.  We run an annual programme of events suitable for all ages.  For our new opening hours and further details, please call 01635 874 381 or email us at naturecentre@westberks.gov.uk

Free car parking.  Disabled access.  Dogs on leads welcome.  Re-opening spring 2008.

Thatcham Reedbed Nature Reserve forms a varied wetland landscape with reedbeds, lakes, damp woodlands, a river and canal.  The site is very important for wildlife and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC).  Many breeding birds such as Reed and Sedge Warblers, Cuckoo, Nightingale and the rare Cetti’s Warbler are found on the site.  The site also provides an important habitat for insects and snails such as the Scarlet Tiger Moth and the very rare Desmoulins’ Whorl Snail.

Thatcham Lake is one of a series of lakes in the Kennet Valley created by gravel extraction in the late 1970’s.  It was landscaped to form a wildlife habitat in the 1980’s.

Living Classroom Field Trip

Living Classrooms is an exciting programme of school field visits guaranteed to bring learning to life.  Children will be able to explore the world of nature for themselves by studying at first hand the birds, animals and plants at Thatcham Reedbed Nature Reserve.  Led by experienced field teachers, all activities aim to encourage curiosity and the process of discovery at primary and secondary level.  Courses generally run from 10am until 2:30pm and are linked to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

  • First Nature – earth walks, pond dipping, mini beast hunt

  • Observation of water birds, lake walks


Key Stage 2

  • Comparing Habitats – lake and pond, woodland, flower meadow

  • Man & the Environment – quarrying, nature conservation, leisure

  • Wetland Birds – adaptation

  • Plants, Fruits & Seeds (autumn term)

Key Stage 3 and above

  • Science Investigations

  • Geographical Enquiry

Cows on Greenham Common