Pre-visit information for groups

Please help us to ensure that your group has a really enjoyable, worthwhile and safe experience by reading the following notes carefully.

The National Park Outdoor Learning Team has been awarded the Quality Badge by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. This badge is awarded to organisations that have demonstrated that they consistently deliver high quality teaching and learning experiences and manage risk effectively.

Health and safety

Activities are led by appropriately qualified and experienced Outdoor Learning Activity Leaders employed by the North York Moors National Park Authority. All leaders are experienced in managing groups both in the field and in the classroom, they are qualified in first aid and are checked by the Criminal Records Bureau. Walk leaders carry first aid kits, radios and other emergency equipment and undergo training in emergency procedures. None of the activities offered by the Outdoor Learning Team falls within the scope of the Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme (AALS) 1996.

Risk assessments

As the National Park Outdoor Learning Team holds the Quality Badge for Learning Outside the Classroom, technically, you do not need to see our risk assessments for the activities we offer. You can assume that because we hold the Quality Badge we manage risk effectively.

LOtC Quality Badge

The LOtC Quality badge is the only national award assessing both the quality of risk management and educational provision across all types of learning outside the classroom providers including museums and castles, botanical gardens and city farms, theme parks and zoos, field study and adventure centres, and expeditions and study cultural tours abroad. It is recognised by the Department of Education and Welsh Government, and therefore by schools as an indication of quality. For more information, you can visit the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom website.

If you would like any further information or to request a copy of our risk assessments, please email

National Park Authority's health and safety policy statement is also available on request.

Ticks and Lyme disease awareness

Please ensure that parents of children and students participating in outdoor activities are aware of what to do if a tick is discovered on a child/young person following a visit to a natural environment. Teachers and parents/guardians should be aware  that some ticks can transmit a disease called Lyme Disease and the symptoms associated with this disease. Please see our Staying Safe page for further information.


Your school or organisation must provide adequate insurance cover for the visit. The North York Moors National Park Authority has public liability insurance with Zurich Municipal; limit of indemnity £10 million.

Staff-to-pupil ratios

Groups should follow their own authority guidelines but please provide at least one adult for every 10 pupils and provide more adults for very young children or those with special needs.  Groups must ensure that their adults remain with the group at all times. One National Park leader will usually be provided for a maximum of 30 pupils/young people.

It is essential that you keep us informed of any changes to your group size so that we can provide the correct number of staff on the day. Please note that if you arrive with more pupils/young people than you booked for, we may be unable to provide sufficient leaders for your group and may have to alter your activity programme accordingly.

Responsibilities of visiting teachers and group leaders

Teachers and group leaders should indicate on the booking form if anyone suffers from illnesses, injuries, disabilities, allergies or any other special needs that may affect their participation in and enjoyment of the activities. It is important that we receive this information in advance.

The teacher or leader in charge should ensure that all adult helpers are aware of their roles. Your National Park Activity Leaders will lead the activities but will welcome contributions and involvement from visiting teachers and group leaders.

Please pass on the following to your adult helpers to ensure that all visitors enjoy their day:
  • Promote and monitor good personal hygiene in relation to hand washing.
  • Remain with and supervise the group at all times, including during lunch.
  • You are responsible for your pupils'/young person's behaviour and should ensure pupils/young people behave appropriately.
  • Ensure that medication, including asthma inhalers and epipens, is with the children/young person or the right group leader at all times.
  • Ensure your group members show courtesy to members of the public around you.
  • Check for litter after your group has had lunch and take your litter home.
  • Groups are welcome to visit the shops in our visitor centres, in groups of up to 10 pupils accompanied by an adult.

Responsibilities of National Park Activity Leaders

The role of your National Park Activity Leader is to ensure that your group has a safe, high quality and enjoyable experience. Your Activity Leader will:

  • Discuss the programme with you when you arrive
  • Lead the activities as agreed with you in advance
  • Provide all resources and equipment as required

Your Activity Leader will expect you to manage your group's behaviour at all times, but if necessary they may intervene directly to avoid risk of injury, disturbance or damage to people or property.

Activity locations

Many activities are based at our visitor centres at Danby and Sutton Bank, while some are based at other locations in the National Park. Your activity location will be agreed with you on booking.

What to bring

All materials and equipment required for your activities are provided and included in the cost. We may however request that you bring your own clipboards and pencils for large groups.

Weather conditions in the North York Moors can change quickly and you should come prepared for poor weather at all times of year!

Essential clothing for outdoor activities
  • Footwear – walking boots or wellies are ideal. Sturdy trainers with good grip and laced up properly are acceptable for short walks in dry conditions. Wellies are essential for the river habitat study and seashore habitat study.
  • A waterproof coat with a hood or a hat, gloves
    Warm clothing
  • Plenty to drink on hot days and long sleeves, long trousers, a hat and suncream to prevent sunburn.
  • A small rucksack to carry a packed lunch and a drink on walks.

Waterproofs and wellies are available for pupils to borrow free of charge from Danby Lodge National Park Centre, but please note that supplies are limited and we cannot guarantee to provide this service to all groups and all individuals. Please ensure that pupils bring their own whenever possible.

If, in the opinion of your National Park Leader, pupils are inadequately equipped for an activity so as to cause a risk to their health and safety, then your Activity Leader will either alter the activity accordingly or request that such pupils forfeit part or all of the activity and remain at the Centre with an accompanying adult.

Arrival at Danby Lodge National Park Centre/Sutton Bank National Park Centre

Please arrive in good time, as the start time on your booking form is the time we have scheduled your activities to begin. If you arrive late we may have to shorten your programme to avoid disrupting the programmes of other groups. If you are delayed it is helpful if you contact us to let us know (call 01439 772751).

On arrival at the centre please park in the free spaces allocated for coaches and proceed with your group to the main building.  You should register your group's arrival at the Information Desk. Your Activity Leader will meet you and discuss your programme of activities.

Facilities, access and special needs

Danby Lodge National Park Centre (formerly The Moors National Park Centre)

This National Park centre is open to the public and is where the National Park Outdoor Learning Team is based. The ground floor has a main exhibition area, gift shop, art gallery and tea room all of which are wheelchair accessible.

There are two classrooms available for school groups, one of which is wheelchair accessible via a platform lift to the first floor. The classroom doorway is 67cm wide. Please tell us in advance if any members of your group will require easy access for indoor activities so that we can arrange for your group to use this classroom.

Separate male and female toilets are available which are also open to the public. One set is located at the front of the building and there are more toilets on the first floor. There are two wheelchair accessible toilets on the ground floor.

Children's bags can be stored in lockable cupboards while they are participating in activities, although space is limited and we cannot guarantee to provide this service to all groups.

The National Park centre is located within seven hectares of grassland and woodland where many education activities take place. All areas are within five minutes' walk of the visitor centre. Less mobile people and wheelchair users can usually participate in these activities but please let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly. Electric wheelchair buggies are available to loan free of charge for use in the grounds - please book in advance if required.

Sutton Bank National Park Centre

This National Park centre provides a main exhibition area, gift shop, tea room, toilets and bike shop all of which are open to the public and fully wheelchair accessible. Electric wheelchair buggies are available free of charge for use in the grounds. Please book in advance if required.  Please note that there are no classrooms or space for groups to eat packed lunches indoors at this centre.

Guided walks and special needs

The terrain and total length of walks are given in the activity descriptions. It is usually possible to arrange for people with reduced mobility to participate in some parts of the walk and/or to provide a suitable alternative activity but please let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly.

Seashore activities and special needs

To participate fully, people need to be able to move around in a rocky shore environment. Less mobile people and wheelchair users may be able to participate in part of this activity but please let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly.

Other services to cater for special needs
  • Large print copies of worksheets and handouts can be provided, with advance notice.
  • Learning difficulties - please tell us about the ability range of your group members so that we can provide activities at a suitable level.
  • Foreign languages - we welcome groups of all nationalities and if groups can provide their own translators we can deliver successful presentations and guided walks for foreign groups.

Safeguarding Policy

You can see our policy statement on safeguarding children using this link. For the full safeguarding children policy document, or the safeguarding adult policy document, please email the Outdoor Learning team or call us using the details below.

Your comments

We are keen to receive your comments and suggestions to help us evaluate and improve our service. We will send you an evaluation form before your visit. After your visit or activity please complete this form and return it to help us improve our service.


Outdoor Learning Team: 01439 772751


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