Inverewe teacher information

Inverewe is set on a peninsula on the shores of Loch Ewe, within the Wester Ross National Scenic Area and the newly designated Biosphere Reserve. It’s renowned for its exotic plants which flourish here on a latitude that’s more northerly than Moscow.

The garden’s profusion of plants is due to informed tree planting, which shields the garden from salty winds and storms, combined with the effects of the Gulf Stream, which brings warm currents to the shores of the sea loch.

The 21-hectare garden sits within Inverewe Estate, over 800 hectares of open moorland and woodland. The estate offers excellent opportunities for discovering the natural history of Wester Ross, providing a gateway into exploring the wilderness of the Fisher Fields, known as the wildest landscape in the UK.

A school visit offers opportunities for cross-curricular work and engaging with the Curriculum for Excellence. 

Teacher-led tours of the garden can be booked - all ages are welcome, from nursery to teens. An orientation map is provided and there are way-markers. There’s lots to discover, including the Wildlife Garden, ponds and woodland paths. 

Ranger-led walks on the estate can also be booked – all Learning Levels are welcome. Walks will be adapted to suit the requirements of your class – please discuss these with the ranger when booking. There are opportunities to consider plant life, minibeasts or food chains  – or watch shoreline birds from the Wildlife Hide (accommodates up to 15 pupils).

A Forest School can be offered.

Possible topics

  • Habitats, including shoreline, woodland and wetland
  • Plant life 
  • Minibeasts
  • Food chains 

Resources for schools

  • Illustrated guidebook (for sale at Inverewe)
  • Display panels about the Mackenzie family and Inverewe (in the main Inverewe House museum)
  • Orientation leaflet for use within the garden

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact the Inverewe property manager on 01445 781229 for a booking form.
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • The garden is available for school visits throughout the year but the Visitor Centre, cafés and toilets are closed in the winter. Ranger-led walks on the estate can be booked all year round. 
  • NOTE: for safety reasons, teacher-led visits must be booked (so Trust staff are aware that your pupils are in the garden).
  • Safety warning: there are ponds within the garden.
  • Maximum class size: for the garden there is no limit as long as there is a ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 10 pupils; for estate walks we can take a maximum of 30 pupils at a time, with a ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 10 pupils.
  • Access: about 70% of the garden is accessible for wheelchair users. Some paths are steep. The orientation map shows suitable paths. Please phone to discuss your requirements – we’ll do our utmost to accommodate your pupils. There is also further accessibility information on our Inverewe webpage.
  • Parking: coaches can park in the car/coach park beside the garden entrance.
  • Toilets: there are toilets available year-round at Inverewe House courtyard; toilets (April-October) are located at the Visitor Centre, including a fully accessible toilet.
  • Refreshments: the cafés are open April-October. Light lunches and children’s lunch boxes can be bought there. Most pupils bring picnics to eat outdoors. There are no wet weather facilities so we advise you to keep the coach for the duration of your visit.
  • Clothing: pupils should be dressed appropriately for outdoors. The woodland paths in the garden can be muddy, as well as the estate walks - pupils should wear stout shoes if possible.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers should prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.

Charges

  • There’s no admission charge for schools with Trust educational membership.
  • Non-members are welcome but there’s an admission charge of £2 per pupil.
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free.
  • All class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.

During your class visit

  • On arrival, please report to the admission desk at the Reception area.
  • Tours of the garden are teacher led and usually last 1.5-2 hours.
  • Estate walks are led by Trust ranger staff. The length of your visit will depend on the programme booked – please discuss your requirements with the ranger.
  • For the estate walk, a class of 30 pupils will be split into 2 groups.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • Coats and bags can be stored in the reception area during garden tours.
  • Schools may take photos/films.
  • Shop: pupils are welcome to visit the shop, in small groups and with teacher supervision.
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