Porthkerry Forest-Schools with logo


  • Categories: Country Parks and Green Spaces, Coast
  • Age Groups: Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5
  • Topics: Knowledge and understanding of the world, Creative development, Personal and social development, well,being and cultural diversity, Physical development
VST-APT-Icon-Coast x smallVST-APT-Icon-Parks&Greenspace x small        VST-SA-Icon-CreativeDev  x smallVST-SA-Icon-Knowledge x smallVST-SA-Icon-PersSocialDev x smallVST-SA-Icon-PhysicalDev x small

Guide to Vale School Trip Icons

All about Porthkerry

Porthkerry Country Park consists of 220 acres of woods, meadowland, streams and ponds  in a sheltered valley leading to a pebble beach and spectacular cliffs. The park has a number of nature trails, picnic sites, a café, an adventure play area, barbecue areas.  Picnic tables and benches are situated a short distance from the main car park.
The Forest Lodge is the base for all school groups and is a great place for leaving bags, having lunch or using as an indoor learning area.
The park offers a range of activities for schools, including ranger-led sessions, self-led/ teacher-led sessions  and ranger-led walks and talks. The park also has an Augmented Reality app -  Porthkerry AR - this app will allow you to bring parts of the park to life as you get out and explore. Meet some of the characters from the park's history, collecting virtual plants and animals along the way while you look out for the real ones and collect myths and legends from around the park with the story trail . 

Environmental and Education Programme

All ranger-led sessions are linked to National Curriculum and Cornerstone projects , most are suitable for Primary age  pupils and KS3. Each session lasts for one hour and can be tailored to fit groups of any age or ability. 

For more information, please contact Alex Edwards

  • 01446 733589

  • porthkerry@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk


Ranger Led Activities 

Boardwalk dipping 122sq

Pond Dipping - Living things and their habitats

Dip and discover the amazing creatures that live in our freshwater pond and stream habitats.  Get to explore how creatures are adapted to this watery environment.


Bug Hunt - Living things and their habitats

Group, classify and observe mini-beasts and pollinators by being sweepers, diggers and beaters, uncovering amazing bug habitats in this hands-on session. 

Grey Heron Tony Barnes 300

Nature and Habitat Detectives - Living things and their habitats

Discover what a habitat is, what lives there and how ecosystems work.  How does nature adapt and survive?  Use your own senses on this nature walk. (photo Tony Barnes)

School sessions Porthkerry

Forest School Taster

Fun and exciting taster session undertaking practical challenges in a woodland.  Pupils developing self-esteem, confidence and teamwork through hands-on experiences.

Bee Porthkerry 200 by 200

Pollinators and Plants

Take a closer look at the link between flowering plants and the insects that visit them.  Explore the parts of a flower and how insects are adapted to pollinate.

den 122sq

Den Building - working well together

Build a woodland den to protect you and your team from the elements, learning new techniques for construction. 


Wild Art - naturally creative

Create images using leaves, twigs, pebbles, flowes, plants and natural materials found in your surroundings.

strandline safari

Strandline Safari - living things and their habitats

Beachcomb to discover the trash and treasure left by the daily tides.  Compare nature's leftovers with plastic pollution discovering how long it takes to degrade.    


Rockpool Explorer - living things and their habitats

Come and dip the amazing coastal rockpools, discovering and identifying what lives in these salty micro-habitats year round.

sticks 122sq

Numeracy Outdoors - maths adventure

Explore the fascinating and amazing connection between the natural world and maths through challenge cards and games.

Porthkerry Viaduct

Past and Present Land Use - History and Heritage

Identify and observe the natural and man-made landscapes of the past and present, thinking about the future and how we can make a difference.


Self-Led Activities 

Waymarkers at Cosmeston

Orienteering - use the map ... find the posts.

Children use their map reading skills (graded routes available) to locate red and white posts around the site.  Can be non-competitive or timed.


Water Vole Paw Prints

Footprint Walk - find the prints ... identify the animal

Use map reading skills in this easy to follow trail.  Match the footprints you find with the animals.  How many can you find?


Porthkerry AR App

Downlaod the app onto a tablet before you come and explore the history and fauna of the park.

Walking trail

Tomos' Trail: read the story ... find the clues

A literacy adventure packed with activities.  Tomos needs help.  Let the story of Tomos and his friends unfold on a walking trail around Porthkerry Country Park.


Walks and Talks

These are more suitable for secondary pupils, college students and adult groups, here's a taste of what is available.

frogspawn 300 sq

Biodiversity Talks - wildlife and habitats

Gain an insight of what's involved in habitat management, which rare and and protected species you can find as a result and a look at common flora and fauna

Pitch n Putt

Management and Tourism - human impact

How is the coast and park is managed sensitively to receive visitors?  A look at the impacts, good and bad, of tourism and recreation on the landscape.

Porthkerry Viaduct

Past and Present land use - history and heritage

Identify and observe the natural and man-made landscapes of the past and present, thinking about the future and how we can make a difference.



When is the programme available?

The education programme is offered throughout the year.

Who runs the ranger-led sessions?

A ranger will lead the activities. All Rangers are first aid qualified, experienced in delivering all subjects and have received on-site training in all the activities.

What about risk assessments?

Risk assessments are available from each location and available on request. However organisations are responsible for carrying out their own risk assessments. 

How is a ranger-led session run?

The group will be met on site by a ranger who will introduce the session, then lead the group to a location, where they will give further instructions. All equipment will be provided. Teachers, group leaders and helpers are encouraged to become involved in the session. Teachers, group leaders remain responsible for the behaviour of the group at all times. To ensure you get the most out of your visit, sessions can be tailored by talking to a Ranger before or during the visit.

How many children can do each activity?

For most activities we set a maximum group size of 30 children, or one class.

What should we wear?

In all cases you should dress for the outdoors. Sensible footwear is highly recommended, even in the summer months. After rain or on dewy mornings wellies may be useful. it’s always a good idea to bring a waterproof just in case! Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen on hotter days.

What happens if it rains?

We get wet! Normally we try and carry on with the activity; however, sometimes extreme weather conditions will result in the activity being cancelled if we consider there to be a safety risk. There would be no charge under these circumstances.


ValeSchoolTrips-Logo-MASTER-RGB 300sq Return to the Vale School Trips home page