Outdoor and Environmental Learning in the Stour Valley

Outdoor and Environmental Learning in the Stour Valley

There are many organisations in the Stour Valley which provide some form of outdoor learning about the special qualities of the Stour Valley to children and young people either as formal or informal education. The Stour Valley Educational Network (SVEN) brings together the organisations involved in the delivery of environmental education and outdoor learning in the Stour Valley, in both Suffolk and Essex.  It is a forum for sharing ideas and best practice and to encourage wider involvement in environmental education and outdoor learning in the area.

A recent 2019 survey of SVEN partners has revealed that there is some wonderful education happening in the valley. The table below highlights the results from 15 partners:

335 school visits

114 community group visits

115 community events

14,200 children & young people engaged with some form of outdoor education
Most come from the villages within the Stour Valley then Sudbury, Manningtree, Colchester, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich 75% study science topics, followed by geography, history and other activities e.g. forest school, art
The main age range is primary school, and most visits are annual Groups visit because they like the location, uniqueness of site and price of visit
Some SVEN partners provide activities for people with mental health needs and those not in education, employment or training. Some SVEN partners work with adults, children and young people with learning and physical disabilities.  Some work with ethnic minority groups and refugees.

 One event that attracts lots of families is Wild in the Stour Valley, on Friday 29th May 11:00am – 4:00pm, at Mill Acre Pond, Croft road, Sudbury CO10 1HR. A FREE hands-on family day out with lots of fantastic outdoor activities provided by SVEN partners such as kayaking, minibeast hunts, wild arts and crafts, chicks and pond dipping.