High Weald Hero Education Programme

Inspiring curiosity and wonder about the special place we live in….

Teachers: do your pupils know how amazing their local area is? The High Weald is an ancient landscape with a rich history going back to Stone Age times. Each town and village has its own special story to tell.

Our High Weald Hero Education Programme uses the vivid landscape heritage of the High Weald AONB to enrich the curriculum and help KS1 and KS2 children develop a lifelong connection with the natural world around them. As they discover the cultural and natural heritage of their local area, they gain a sense of pride and belonging.

If your school is located within or around the AONB, you can join the 90 schools already part of our Education Programme, and become a High Weald Hero school.

The outreach programme is FREE; sessions are delivered either on school premises or as walks from the school gate, so no travel is required. Our Education Officer Rachel will tailor sessions to tie in with your topics.

Click the orange button to drop Rachel a line or call her on 01424 723013 and start your High Weald Hero journey!

Enrich your school topics…

We offer a flexible programme of curriculum-linked activities and resources, including:

  • Developing a Welly Walk, our flagship circular walk starting at your school gate, designed to help children learn more about their unique local landscape. Rachel will work with pupils to develop the walk and you will receive an interpretation leaflet with a map and directions. This can be used for individual classes and as a whole-school activity.
  • Outdoor workshops based around your welly walk or on school grounds. These cover all areas of the curriculum
  • Classroom-based workshops such as historical handling boxes, art projects and dissecting owl pellets to learn about food chains
  • Themed, interactive assemblies covering topics such as endangered High Weald habitats and local history
  • Staff training on using the High Weald landscape as a cross-curricular resource. You will also receive a staff information session introducing the High Weald Hero programme
  • Educational materials including map sets of the local area and wider High Weald landscape and activity sheets
  • Regular updates of workshop suggestions, projects and resources.

As an accredited delivery partner, we can also help you work towards achieving your John Muir Award, Heritage Schools Award or becoming an Eco School.

Group of children sat/stood underneath a large tree

High Weald Hero actions – GO FOR GOLD!

There are five ‘actions’ your school can take as part of becoming High Weald Hero School.

Schools that really throw themselves into the programme and embed the High Weald Hero ethos into their curriculum are eligible for our special GOLD award!

Our High Weald Hero Gold schools are some of the AONB’s best ambassadors. They work together and inspire others to Learn about, Take care of, Be proud of, Explore and Enjoy this special landscape.

High Weald Hero logo

Find out about

Station master giving talk to children inside steam train carriage

Your school can:

  • Watch the My High Weald Hero video
  • Do online research
  • Use local museums, groups and experts to find out about the history of your local area
  • Undertake wildlife surveys using local wildlife groups for help.

School spotlight: Dallington Primary School found out about the lives of charcoal burners who worked in Dallington Forest

Take care of

Close up of children's hands holding hops

Your school can:

  • Pick up litter
  • Install wind turbines and solar panels
  • Compost rubbish.

If you’re an Eco-school you’re probably already taking care of the environment and achieving the High Weald Hero Actions. You can use our education resources to learn about local, sustainable energy sources.

  • School spotlight: Punnetts Town Primary School planted High Weald meadow seed at their school and in their gardens to encourage pollinating insects

Be proud of

Group of schoolchildren and adults standing in school hall, wearing costumes

Your school can:

  • Hold a High Weald Heroes open day for your local community and share your knowledge and experiences of the local area,
  • Invite the local community on a High Weald Welly Walk.

School spotlight: Staplecross Primary School held a High Weald Heroes exhibition for the local community in the village hall.


Children walking over a bridge in a woodland

Your school can:

  • Develop a High Weald Welly Walk from your school gate.
  • Map and try out another welly walk from your school. Contact Rachel for ideas of places to visit on school trips in the High Weald.

School spotlight: Burwash Primary School chose the Netherfield Welly Walk as their school trip to learn about another area of the High Weald.


Schoolboy wearing high-vis vest, kneeling on the ground in a field, writing in a workbook

Your school can:

  • Admire and paint the view from your school
  • Take photos of your local area and create displays.

School spotlight: Schools have organised fun days out in the High Weald, from picnics on Ashdown Forest to farm visits and treasure hunt Welly Walks.

High Weald Hero Education Resources

Here are a few useful resources to give a flavour of what the programme has to offer.

For more, please visit our Publications Library .