On the edge of East London and stone's throw away from M25 and M11 The Hive in the heart of Epping Forest feels like a world away from the confines of the school classroom, lending an air of excitement and adventure to an authentic outdoors and back-to-nature experience. Throughout the seasons Epping Forest, 2,400 hectares of ancient woodland, with two thirds of it designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is always worth a visit!
The Hive has a track record in operating residential camps in Epping Forest for schools across London and surrounding boroughs for over 50 years. Our dedicated team of staff are on-hand to ensure that your visit to The Hive is memorable for all the right reasons. The tutors have a wealth of experience leading outdoor education activities that are fun and stimulating.
The Hive reopened in June 2021 after a multi million investment programme so if you are looking for high quality accommodation then The Hive is your ideal location for your school trip. Our homecooked meals are all produced on-site using the freshest ingredients direct from local/organic sources. We offer a seasonal based nutritious vegetarian menu and special dietary requirements can always be catered for.
*Imposing Victorian main building that houses four fully equipped large classrooms;
* A range of animals suitable for handling
* Outdoor classroom set in accessible terraced gardens and picnic areas
* Four ponds with dipping stations and one with wheelchair access;
* Two sets of ten wooden camping pods with underfloor heating (two pods are fully accessible) surrounding firepits either in our woodland or our meadow;
* The Lodge, with a large multi purpose space for both dining and learning, showers and toilet facilities;
* Eco camps option, no need to book a coach with luggage transfer from Chingford Station. Your experience starts the moment you leave the station as we greet you and take you straight away off into a forest discovery!
* Plenty of space to run around during free time.
* Bushcraft and team building activities
All the programmes are designed to give children and young people the opportunity to develop essential life skills such as team-work, communication, problem-solving and leadership; building self-confidence and resilience.
Here are a selection of our most popular activities. Contact us for further details or with a particular topic/theme.
Early Years and KS1
Our fun, informative and memorable real-world education sessions allow our younger visitors to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world.
Here's a taste of some of our activities:
* Forest Sensory Trail
*We're Going a Bear Hunt
*Forest Map Adventure
S2, KS3, KS4 and post 16
Our flexible and adaptable environmental educational programmes equip students with the knowledge and skills they will need to make decisions about the impact they have on the environment through-out their lives. Working together in a stimulating environment helps
develop self-awareness, communication, teamwork and social skills.
Here's a taste of some of our activities:
*Investigating Eco Systems;
*GSCE Science Woodland Transect;
Residential facilities include 4-person eco pods that cater for up to 64 students and 8 staff. Please contact us directly for specific information regarding the most up to date regulations
All The Hive staff are trained in first aid.
Our facilities are accessible and we have an all-terrain wheelchair to use in the forest. We have changing place facilities and disabled car parking.
Yes we do - we pride ourselves on our inclusive approach to teaching and we are especially proud of our on-going work with several local SEN schools.
To address the climate change agenda The Hive has made a long-term commitment to the environment.
Our private 7-acre site includes sustainable features and examples of best practice design which are incorporated into our learning sessions including:
• a ground source heat pump;
• solar panels for both hot water and electricity generation;
• water harvesting;
• food waste composting;
• electric charging points and minibus;
• a meat-free menu for catered bookings.
To promote biodiversity our native planting supports many different habitats.
Cut your carbon emissions. Use public transport as far as Chingford Station. Your group will be met at the station for a discovery walk through the forest while your luggage is transferred to site by an electric vehicle
Come and visit us here in Epping Forest or we can come to you for school-based training we provide learning outside the classroom at its very best and most memorable!
Hi from The Hive!
The Hive is an environmental educational centre in operation for over fifty years. Set in 7 acres of private woodland and meadow in the heart of Epping Forest based on the edge of East London with easy transport links. The surrounding diverse woodland provides the ideal location for all year-round residential school trips or day visits.
At The Hive we understand booking your class for a residential trip can be daunting, but we promise a stay with us will be truly something to look forward to. After all our aim is to encourage as many people as possible to learn about their environment through hands-on experiences that remains with them throughout their lives in an inspirational and safe environment. Our bespoke programmes are designed to build confidence and encourage teamwork using the stunning Epping Forest as a catalyst for positive outcomes.
Our unique all-inclusive residential packages combine accommodation in our heated wooden 4-person eco-pods, dining and washrooms in our state-of the art Lodge, food, drink, curriculum-led tuition with a variety of activities to suit all ages and abilities. Our bespoke programmes can be tailored to suit the curriculum, specific topics and themes or just for fun.
All activities are
• Linked to the EY Framework, National Curriculum or exam board specifications for GCSE, BTec and A’ level as appropriate;
• Provide visitors with knowledge and skills to empower them to take action and make informed choices to use the world’s resources wisely and to make a positive contribution to improve their local area;
• Support classroom-based learning by developing understanding through practical real-world experiences;
• Are led by experienced environmental education professionals;
• Are fully risk assessed
Wellies and waterproofs for all ages!