Thanks to the vision and benevolence of the late Anne and Hugh Kenrick, who had a great passion for environmental education and wildlife, all schools in the West Midlands can bid to NAEE for financial support to take their pupils to outdoor centres for hands-on learning opportunities in the natural environment.

Applications for Autumn Term 2024 and Spring Term 2025* are now open. The closing date for applications is Friday 13th September (5pm). Schools will be informed whether they are successful in the week beginning 25th September. Please contact for more information and an application form.
* You are welcome to send in applications for Summer Term 2025, but please note that these will not be considered until the later closing date in February 2025. 

NAEE offers school bursaries of up to £400 to cover centre fees and transport costs.  All we ask in return is that you write a short piece for our journal Environmental Education about your visit and how it linked to your work in school.   Your school will also be given a year’s NAEE membership.

By becoming involved, you can help to equip our young people with the knowledge and understanding they will need as future stewards of our planet.  Bursaries can be used for visits to the Environmental Education Centres shown below, and priority will be given to schools that have limited or no access to green areas on their site.

  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens – indoor glasshouses where pupils can investigate plants from different climates, including tropical rainforest and desert; large grounds for plant and habitat studies, senses work and orienteering. Also has an animal collection that can be studied during sessions.
  • Mount Pleasant School Farm, Kings Norton – sustainably-built classroom on a working dairy farm which has cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens.  A day at the farm provides a variety of ‘hands on’ experiences to the school curriculum, including where our food comes from; omnivores, carnivores and herbivores.
  • Martineau Gardens, Priory Road, Edgbaston – an organically-managed community garden, located two miles from the city centre, where pupils can carry out activities linked to plant growth, food crops, invertebrates, food chains, and explore a range of different habitats including the pond.
  • RSPB Sandwell Valley – a nature reserve with woodland, wetland, meadows and garden habitats. The school programmes help pupils to develop science and geography skills as well as having fun exploring nature.

If your application is successful, you should organise a visit date directly with the Centre you have chosen, but indicate your preferred dates on the application form.  When contacting the Centre, please say it is a Kenrick Day visit and that you will require the Centre’s education officer to accompany the visit.  The visits can be used to cover a range of subjects and projects related to the environment.  For example:

– Early Years Foundation Stage:

  • School visits can cover the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning, particularly Understanding the World and Personal, Social & Emotional Development.
  • Outdoor learning also covers the Characteristics of Effective Learning (Playing & Exploring, Active Learning, Creating & Thinking Critically), through sensory, seasonal and problem-solving activities.

– Primary science:

  • Identifying common plants, parts of plants and flowers, growth, life cycles (Martineau Gardens, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, RSPB Sandwell Valley).
  • Living things and their habitats (Martineau Gardens, RSPB Sandwell Valley and Birmingham Botanical Gardens).
  • Animals – ‘minibeast’ hunts, pond dipping (emphasising care/respect for other living things), food chains
  • Birds – identification, basic requirements, foods, what is special about birds (RSPB Sandwell Valley)
  • Sensory activities (including tasting and smelling plants at Martineau Gardens, animal handling at Birmingham Botanical Gardens).
  • Food and farming – at Mount Pleasant School Farm children can find out exactly where their food comes from, Martineau Gardens have plots where they grow organic food crops and at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, pupils can see examples of exotic plants that give us food (e.g. coffee, cocoa and bananas)
  • Changing environments and human impacts (both positive and negative).
  • Materials – investigating and using natural and human-made materials, links to recycling.
  • Rocks and soils.

– Primary geography:

  • Fieldwork and observational skills.
  • Exploring the local environment.
  • Comparing contrasting environments with the school grounds.
  • Finding out about plants and animals from other parts of the world (Birmingham Botanical Gardens have plants from tropical, sub-tropical, Mediterranean and arid ecosystems, as well as an animal collection).

– Primary design and technology:

  • Growing food crops and using in healthy recipes.
  • Links to plant life cycles and plant parts/functions in science (e.g. the use of leaves, roots/tubers/bulbs, seeds and fruit as food).

– Secondary science:

  • Fieldwork techniques, such as freshwater sampling methods and quadrat/transect sampling.
  • Structure and function of living organisms – plants (including photosynthesis, pollination, life cycles) and animals (e.g. invertebrate sampling).
  • Evolution and adaptation.
  • Studying different ecosystems (such as temperate woodland and ponds at Martineau Gardens and rainforests at the Botanical Gardens).

– Secondary geography:

  • Using fieldwork in contrasting locations, including map skills.
  • Human and physical geography related to a range of landscapes and environments.
  • Understanding human impacts (positive and negative) on local and global environments.

– Other:

  • Environmental art and craft activities.
  • Environmental and Land Based Science GCSE.
  • ‘Forest School’ activities with a focus on the environment.
  • Sustainability issues, e.g. growing food locally, developing sustainable communities.
  • Local history activities.

Examples of how bursaries are used

Click here to read stories about how schools use bursaries.