Tag Archives: Nature

Deanfield Outdoor Centre celebrates 50 years as an education provider

Young person leaping onto the zip wire at Deanfield Outdoor Centre

Located in the beautiful Forest of Dean, Deanfield Outdoor Centre is a residential outdoor education centre, which is owned and operated by Bristol City Council’s Trading with Schools service. Since first opening its doors in September 1972, Deanfield has welcomed over 175,000 young people who have participated in outdoor activities and courses at the centre.

In early September, Deanfield celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with an event on site. Schools were invited along to the celebratory event along with other guests and current and former staff of Deanfield Outdoor Centre. Richard Hanks, Director of Education and Skills at Bristol City Council unveiled a standing stone to commemorate the centre’s fiftieth anniversary. A time capsule was also buried beside the stone for future generations of young people to discover.

The group standing by the standing stone as they celebrate 50 years of Deanfield Outdoor Centre.

As well as celebrating 50 years, the event also aimed to showcase the extensive activities and fantastic facilities that Deanfield has to offer. School children were encouraged to sample some of the activities including the zip wire, climbing tower, leap of faith, tunnels system and bushcraft.

I know how important it is for young people to get to experience nature. Being able to explore more of the world was a key experience of my own youth growing up in Bristol. For many young people growing up in cities, access to nature can be scarce, Deanfield Outdoor Centre does incredible work in making these experiences more widely accessible.

The environment is at the heart of Deanfield’s education programme as well as teaching about the benefits of outdoor activity. Being in the Forest of Dean, Deanfield incorporates its surroundings to create educational programmes centred around nature. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our mental and physical wellbeing and many children have become even more disconnected from nature than ever before. The work that Deanfield does is instrumental in providing young people with a safe environment to build confidence and learn new skills in the outdoors. Young people are encouraged to experience and learn about their environment through activities such as bushcraft and orienteering.

Deanfield Outdoor Centre House, the building is covered in green moss.
Deanfield Outdoor Centre

The centre also caters for families during the summer and corporate groups throughout the year. Ground floor accommodation is fully accessible, and activities can be catered for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

If you would like to find out more about Deanfield Outdoor Centre, please visit our website, or contact Deanfield Outdoor Centre directly on dfsc@bristol.gov.uk.