Education Programmes

At Monkton Nature Reserve children and students can connect with nature and the outdoors through nature-related activities.  We offer a wide range of safe, secure and fun outdoor learning experience for all ages.

Pond dipping
Pond dipping in the Small Pond

Parents and teachers can connect that wonderful feeling that children have for nature while they are young with a developing sensitivity to the impact they can have on the Earth and a sense of environmental stewardship for how they can help protect it in the future.

Led by our staff and expert volunteers, you and your students will get to explore the Nature Reserve and Field Study Centre, using our equipment, resources and knowledge to learn about the environments, wildlife and heritage on site.

Conservation at the Reserve

Visit our new pages on Conservation at the Reserve.

Small White butterfly

Programmes of Study

All Ages

  • Birds of Prey Demonstration
  • Astronomy

Early Years Foundation Stage – Understanding the World

  • Mini-beasts, Pond Dipping and Birds

Key Stage 1 – Science Curriculum – Living things and their habitats

  • Plants and Animals
  • Seasonal Changes

Key Stage 2 – Science Curriculum – Living things and their habitats

  • Year 3/4:  Plants – structure, functions, reproduction (pollination, seed dispersal); Animals – nutrition, skeleton
  • Year 4: Food Chains
  • Year 5/6: Life Cycles
  • Year 6: Classification/Keys; Evolution and Inheritance – fossils

Key Stage 2 – History Curriculum

  • Year 4/5: Stone Age

Key Stage 3 – Biology/Combined Science

  • Structure and function of living organisms
  • Relationships in an ecosystem
  • Environmental variables – biotic and abiotic factors

Key Stage 4 – Biology/Combined Science

  • Ecology – Communities and Levels of Organisation
  • Biodiversity – field-based practicals and data collection
  • Populations in ecosystems

KS3 & 4 outreach sessions and talks are available led by Dr Clive Nuttman and on-site programmes can be tailored to fit your requirement.

To enquire or book, please telephone the Centre: 01843 822666 or email:

Group & Community Walks and Talks

Conservation and Ecology:

  • Habitats at Monkton Nature Reserve
  • Brownfield Remediation and Development
  • Chalk Geology and Landfill Recovery
  • Environment Management
  • Tour of the Nature Reserve
  • Water and Waste Management

A wide variety of talks available by Dr Clive Nuttman are listed on


  • John Allen- Battle of Britain Pilot 1917-1940
  • Local history

General Information and Education Talks

  • Understanding Dementia
  • Reminiscence, Communication & Interaction with people living with dementia. (For Care Home Staff & Managers)


Monkton Nature Reserve’s 16-acre (6.5 hectare) site provides a variety of habitats based on chalk grassland and chalk woodland with two ponds, the larger of which is groundwater fed. The second smaller pond is ideal for studying pond life, vertebrate and invertebrate, visited by innumerable species of dragonfly and damselfly and has a newly built gazebo to shelter and observe.

Newt from dipping tray
Newt from dipping tray

Monkton Nature Reserve is also home to the Monkton Stargazers astronomy group and the two Thanet Observatories.

Observatory photo
Taken through one of our telescopes

Field Study Centre, Museum and exhibits

A selection of animal skulls, bones and teeth.
Many of these have been found locally and kindly donated to the Reserve Museum.
  • Rocks, minerals and fossils from Mesozoic, Cenozoic era including fossils and archaeological exhibits including bone, bird and animal skulls/skeleton, Stone Age flint tools and even Mammoth tusks and teeth.
  • Natural History Exhibits include: animal skeletons, butterflies, moths, spiders, beetles.
  • Bird Viewing Area with information books. There are also hides in the Reserve.
  • The Cabin for talks, presentations and as an extra classroom or lunch area. The counter here sells drinks and snacks.
  • Since Spring 2019 a newly developed, safe and secure, “Minibeast City” has been sited within the Willett Sensory Garden for exploring wildlife and a newly built education shelter allows for study in inclement weather.
  • Outside picnic area
  • Indoor toilet facilities including wheelchair access
  • Shop selling gift items

General Information

Please Note: We are closed on Wednesdays.

Our school sessions normally run from 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00.
If your travel plans mean that you require different timings, please contact us and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

All teaching resources are provided.
Maximum group size 32 children.
When you visit please follow these adult to student ratios:
Early Years/Foundation Stage – 1:4
Key Stage 1 & 2 – 1:6
Key Stage 3 & 4 – 1:10
SEN: 1:1 to 1:3 depending on group

Volunteer opportunities

If you would like to join the team in a volunteer capacity, please telephone the Centre or contact

Dragonfly Pond

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