Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning

An outdoor learning centre and working farm near London
Started: 
1930
Cardoons flowering in our permaculture garden with the Zip-wire in the background

A 54-acre classroom offering food, farming, environmental and adventure activities. Set in a beautiful rural setting with meadows, woodland, ponds and gardens; and a working farm. And yet we are only a short drive from a London tube station and close to East London, on the edge of urban and rural. We are also adjacent to the wonderful Hainault forest full of ancient hornbeam pollards. And we all know how productive the edge can be. We were home to the 2010 Permaculture Convergence.
 
Our vision
“To challenge young people to look at the way in which they view themselves, the world in which they live and the people with whom they share it with.”
 
EARTH CARE
We use our natural assets to help thousands of children and young people spend time in nature and develop a love for the outdoors. Whether that’s through bush-craft, pond dipping, minibeast hunts or any of our other nature-based sessions. The farm adds a different dimension to the work of caring for and nurturing the livestock. Watching the lambs being born, chicks hatching or tasting our farm sausages, all add to the experience. 
Areas of the site have been designed to incorporate edible landscaping, and are maintained by staff and volunteers.
 
PEOPLE CARE
We also use our built assets to help develop self-confidence and resilience whether it’s whizzing down our Zip-line, climbing the 55-foot wall or crawling through our 200-meter tunnels (I have yet to do this one) or any of our adventure-based activities.
Many of the children we work with come with labels SEN (special educational needs) or “Emotional, behaviour and mental health needs” “learning disabilities” whatever the label, they are just children who need a bit more support and understanding. Our regular AP (alternative programs) work throughout term time is with children who are not comfortable in the four walls of mainstream education.
 
FAIR SHARE
Our residential school trips allow children from areas of high deprivation to gain access to the natural world, build confidence and gain essential life skills. Groups are also welcome to camp in our bell tents or bring their own tents, and experience staying overnight in our meadow, whether they are having a short break or training for their D of E award. Our unique location means access to the Lambourne End Centre is more affordable and easier to get to for schools in inner-city London and parts of Essex.

How to arrange a visit: 
Please see our website to enquire about booking, or arranging a visit.
Contact: 
Tony Sharps
Manor Road
Lambourne End
Essex
RM4 1NB
United Kingdom
Phone: 
020 8500 3047
Type of project: 
Charity / Social Enterprise