Are you ready for an outdoor adventure?

We've teamed up with Butterfly Conservation to offer a brand new way for schools to experience our amazing outdoor environment. Come and enjoy a free two-hour outdoor lesson right in the heart of Magdalen Hill Down reserve before heading to the Science Centre to experience an exciting new environmental workshop.

Did you know that the Science Centre is just a five minute walk from Butterfly Conservation's Magdalen Hill Down reserve? Part of the South Downs National Park, Magdalen Hill Down is home to thirty-six different species of butterfly. You'll spot lots of wildflowers, insects and other wildlife here, many of which cannot be found anywhere else. It's also been designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation by Hampshire County Council. Wow!

Email our education team to reserve your place
School children butterfly spotting in the South Downs National Park

There are lots of fun activities ready to be tailored to suit the curriculum you are studying.

The first half of the day will include two workshops from Butterfly Conservation's offer:

Hunt for habitats

What’s living in the South Downs National Park? From hedgerows to wildflower meadows, let's find out what special features each habitat has. Learn how each habitat supports the growth and life of the wildlife that live there. Explore examples of human impact on environments, both positive and negative. What are the positive effects of nature reserves, artificial shelters or garden ponds, and human developments, litter and deforestation having a negative impact on nature habitats. Let's find out together!

Minibeast hunting

Now it's time for a nature adventure! Learn all about mircohabitats before heading out on a walk through the South Downs National Park. How many minibeasts will you be able to find?

In the afternoon, you will experience one of the excellent environment workshops from the Science Centre's offer:

Habitat heroes

Calling all habitat heroes! It's time to put on your capes and discover more about the local wildlife hiding in the woods surrounding the Science Centre. We need your help to explore as many habitats as we can.  Then, find out about the foods that different animals and insects eat.


Now it's time to relax after a fantastic morning hunting for habitats and minibeasts. Discover how being outdoors in nature can stimulate our senses! What will you see, hear, feel and smell in the South Downs National Park?

School children looking for bugs at the Butterfly Conservation reserve in Winchester School children looking for bugs at the Butterfly Conservation reserve in Winchester A red and black butterfly sat on a pink flower School children looking for bugs at the Butterfly Conservation reserve in Winchester School children looking for bugs at the Butterfly Conservation reserve in Winchester
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Bookings are open now for free trips on various dates in June and July 2024:

  • Thursday 6th June
  • Wednesday 12th June
  • Thursday 13th June
  • Tuesday 18th June
  • Thursday 20th June
  • Thursday 27th June
  • Wednesday 10th July
  • Thursday 11th July

*Check back for more dates.

Useful information

  • The dates of workshops are flexible. If you would like to book a workshop on an alternative date, please get in touch with our education team.
  • Trips take place between 10am and 2pm.
  • Activities are perfect for Years R to 6. One class will take part in each activity at a time.
  • Trips include two Butterfly Conservation workshops and one environmental workshop at the Science Centre.
  • You'll be provided with a dedicated lunch space in a covered outdoor area.
  • There is free parking for minibuses and coaches at the Science Centre.

Who are Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation is a UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies and moths. These amazing creatures are important parts of the ecosystem. Two-thirds of butterfly and moth species are in decline. Butterfly Conservation maintains and enhances landscapes for butterflies and moths. They provide advice to landowners and managers on how to conserve and restore habitats. They gather extensive butterfly and moth data and conduct research to provide the scientific evidence that underpins their work. Visit their website for more information.