RSPB Lochwinnoch

School Trips

Home / Scotland / Renfrewshire

We are passionate about nature and are dedicated to saving it. Since we started in 1889, the threats to nature have continued to grow, but we've grown to meet them too.

We are the largest nature conservation charity in the country, consistently delivering successful conservation, forging powerful new partnerships and inspiring others to stand up and give nature the protection and home it deserves.

A huge part of our work is about getting young people outside and experiencing nature first-hand. We can create the ideal session that will meet your group’s needs for experiential learning and instil a passion for nature.

RSPB Lochwinnoch photograph
school trip at RSPB Lochwinnoch
RSPB Lochwinnoch school groups

Why book RSPB Lochwinnoch for School Trips and Educational Visits?

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Our stunning reserve offers a range of habitats including loch, grassland, marsh and woodland. It is an ideal place for an exciting school visit, with classes able to explore and investigate the abundant wildlife of the reserve through curriculum-led activities. With each season bringing a change in wildlife activities, colours, sounds and smells, the reserve is ideal for return visits.

Our activities are tailored to the Scottish curriculum, bringing to life many of the Es and Os covered in the classroom. Along the nature trail, we have many woodland birds, bank voles and even some fairy doors, if you look closely enough. Our ponds have beetles, newts, frogs, dragonflies and damselflies, providing a fantastic resource for pond-dipping and other experiential learning. In the bird hides around the reserve you can be lucky enough to spot great crested grebes doing their mating dance, a huge variety of water birds, maybe even some chicks or ducklings, seasonal migrants or even more exciting, some otters. The natural play area is great to run, climb and swing around in, and afterwards, you can take advantage of our visitor centre, shop, on-site toilets and outdoor picnic area.

Which Curriculum Subjects do you cater for?

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green tick Citizenship

Curriculum topics available: Team building.

All of our activities require a degree of teamwork and collaboration, as well as facilitated group discussion. This format of teach fits well with our inclusive conservation sessions, and will push your group to consider how they can work together to help nature.

green tick Wildlife

Every activity we run is rooted in our wild setting and the conservation values that run through the RSPB. Our sessions discuss food chains, habitat, interdependence, nutrient/resource cycling and much more against a backdrop of an active, well-studied ecosystem.

green tick Biology

Curriculum topics available: Plants, Animals including humans, Living things and habitats, Evolution and inheritance, Ecology and environment, Life Cycles, Minibeasts, Habitats, Underwater Animals and Habitats.

Every activity we run is rooted in our wild setting and the conservation values that run through the RSPB. Our sessions discuss food chains, habitat, interdependence, nutrient/resource cycling and much more against a backdrop of an active, well-studied ecosystem.

green tick Physical Geography

Curriculum topics available: Water cycles, Environment, Climate zones and biomes , Fieldwork.

The geography of our reserve is central to how the wildlife grows up around it and can be emphasised in our sessions which focus on habitat and ecosystems. We cover nutrient/resource cycling, pollution, human impact and more in an environment with active, ongoing land management.

green tick Environmental Geography

Curriculum topics available: Sustainable living, Global warming, Climate change, Conservation.

The geography of our reserve is central to how the wildlife grows up around it and can be emphasised in our sessions which focus on habitat and ecosystems. We cover nutrient/resource cycling, pollution, human impact and more in an environment with active, ongoing land management.

green tick Fieldstudies

All of our sessions take place outside and are based on classes investigating the environment. Our sessions for older pupils in particular focus on-field skills and sampling, while younger children will be investigating life cycles and predator/prey relationships on land, in soils, and in fresh water.

What activities are available during group visits?

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Looking at different features of birds.
Brilliant Birds (Early & First Levels)

What's special about minibeasts, and how are they suited to their habitat?
Discovering Land Minibeasts (Early & First Levels)

What's special about pond minibeasts?
Discovering Pond Minibeasts (Early & First Levels)

Be detectives in this nature discovery walk.
Seasonal Sensory Walk (Early & First Levels)

Identify and record the plants you find.
Plant detectives (First level)

Find out what's special about the birds on the reserve.
Discovering Birds (Second Level)

Investigate minibeasts in their habitats.
Investigating Minibeasts (Second Level)

Explore the reserve habitats for a variety of plants and animals.
Living things and their habitat (Second Level)

Investigate minibeasts in ponds and mud.
Pond Habitat Study (Second Level)

Plan how you might measure the biotic and abiotic factors of the sampling site.
Ecological Investigations and Sampling (Third Level)

Be immersed in the inspirational ecosystem of an RSPB reserve.
Ecosystems (National 3/4/5 Geography)

Investigate the distribution and abundance of organisms using ecological fieldwork techniques.
Ecological Fieldwork Techniques (National 3/4/5 Biology)

Investigate the communities that make up the ecosystems within our nature reserves.
Ecosystems and Sustainability (Advanced Higher Geography)
Sampling (Advanced Higher Biology)

Each programme is designed to last two hours; sessions run from 10 am to 12 pm and then 12.30 to 2.30 pm. Two programmes can be combined to make a whole day visit.


From 1st April 2018 prices are as follows
Primary & Early Years per pupil (inc VAT)
• £4 per two-hour session, £6.50 for two sessions to make a full day.
• There is a minimum charge of £80 for a half-day and £130 for a full day.
S1-4 per Student (inc VAT)
• £5 per two-hour session, or £8 for a full day.
• There is a minimum charge of £100 half-day and £160 for a full day.
S5-6 per student (inc VAT)
• £6 for a half-day, or £10 for a full day.
• There is a minimum charge of £100 for a half-day and £160 for a full day.
These are our standard prices, there may be some variation - please check when making your booking.

What size groups do you cater for?

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We usually cater for single classes of 30 (minimum group size of 10) but can take multiple groups up to a maximum of 60 children (two classes) on a day. If you have a group larger than this, please don't hesitate to get in touch to find out if we can accommodate you.

Do you offer on-site classroom facilities?

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Our sessions aim to be outside as much as possible. We do have a small room that may be used as a base to store bags/packed lunches for the day and can potentially be used at lunchtime if the weather is very poor.

Is there first aid on site?

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RSPB learning staff are first aid trained and will carry a basic first aid kit. DfE guidelines state that the visiting school is responsible for providing a teacher/adult helper with a good working knowledge of first aid and an adequate first aid box. Our nature reserve has emergency procedures in place that all learning staff are familiar with.

Do you offer access for visitors with disabilities?

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Yes - we have wheelchair user-friendly paths, pond dipping area, bird hides and toilet facilities as well as disabled parking bays.

Do you cater for visitors with Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

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Yes - we can cater for a wide range of needs and often have special educational needs schools use our services.

Anything else?

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Lochwinnoch RSPB Nature Reserve, Largs Rd, Lochwinnoch PA12 4JF
Grid ref NS358580

Lochwinnoch is accessible to groups by public transport.

By train
Lochwinnoch railway station is two minutes' walk the visitor centre.

By bus (public transport)
Nearest bus stops are on the A737 at Roadhead roundabout (at grid reference: NS 350 586, 750 metres south-east of the reserve entrance) and on the A760 at Newton of Barr (at NS 366 577, 1.2 km north-west of the entrance).

By road/coach
The reserve is located 18 miles south-west of Glasgow, beside the A760 Largs Road, which is off the A737 Irvine Road (easily reached from the M8 at Junction 28A). Car parking facilities are available.
Sat nav POI file: If you have a satellite navigation system that can accept POI files

By bike
National Cycle Route 7 runs through the reserve, adjacent to the A737.


Find out more about this school trip...





Teacher Checklist
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green tickRisk Assessments
green tickInspection Visits
green tickResource Packs
green tickLOtC Quality Badge
green tickAALA Licence
UK Location
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