Activities at Barnstondale

ACTIVITIES AT BARNSTONDALE

Introduction

For the majority of groups that visit Barnstondale, our wide range of adventurous activities are at the heart of their stay. Our professional, friendly, fully-trained instructors offer a wide range of activities for you to enjoy. These include the climbing wall, abseiling, archery, target rifle shooting and orienteering. We continually review and improve the activities on offer and have plans to introduce some exciting new activities in the near future, to further expand our already exciting range.

Activities can form part of a residential break, or you can just visit for the day.

All activities are professionally supervised by fully trained staff.

Centre holds an AALA License, Reference No: R0650

License No: L13484, Expiry Date: 17/06/20

With both an indoor and outdoor climbing wall Barnstondale is fantastically placed to deliver adventure in all weather and seasons. Both walls have been specifically designed and built to provide a range of challenges to match all abilities and ambitions, enabling all participants to reach their own personal sense of achievement.

Climbing is a timeless sport rightly famed for its excitement and adrenalin-packed thrills. Whether participants can’t wait to get started or are a bundle of nerves, Barnstondale provides a safe environment for them to discover new abilities and skills.

Our fully trained and experienced instructors will provide everyone with a safety-harness and helmet. Safety is always our primary concern. Each climber will work side by side with an instructor when it is their turn to climb and will be helped and directed as much as they need.

Young people are supported by a belay rope and can be lowered to the ground when they reach the top or sooner if they prefer.

As well as learning basic climbing skills the achievement of reaching personal goals builds self-esteem. It also helps develop co-ordination and determination.

With the tallest abseiling tower in Wirral at Barnstondale it’s not surprising how many people have experienced the adrenalin thrills of the fastest route to the bottom – and one go is never enough!

Young people love the challenge of the purpose built abseiling tower. Whilst a little daunting a first the thrill of stepping over the top gives them a great feeling of achievement. It’s a character and teambuilding experience for everyone. Even the most nervous participant gathers confidence from being cheered and encouraged from below.

Our fully trained instructors will ensure everyone has properly fitted safety harnesses and helmets and will take them step by step through everything they need to know in a safe and secure environment.

As a result children will learn the great feeling of taking risks and succeeding. This will build self-esteem and raise confidence. It may only be a few metres from top to bottom, but it’s a distance that can make a real difference.

Children of all ages love the challenge and adventure of trying archery. Whether they’ve seen it on TV, in film or computer games we find almost every child gets particularly excited when they come for their archery sessions!

Depending on the age of the children our fully trained instructors adapt the range to ensure all groups benefit. The activity is great fun as games are introduced in addition to the normal targets. This encourages a team approach and mutual encouragement. Children benefit from improved hand to eye co-ordination and enhanced self-esteem.

There are opportunities to develop maths skills as they add their scores and listening skills as they need to understand each game.

Following a massive upgrade to our facilities for target sports, target rifles at Barnstondale has taken this already hugely popular activity to new levels. Target sports don’t have to just be computer games, at Barnstondale you can try them for real in a safe yet still exciting way.

Built to ensure a safe environment, the Target Hub has tiered seating separate from the shooting area to ensure that everyone is comfortable as they await their turn, as well as giving them a fantastic view of how their friends are doing. The shooting locations are purpose built and set up to allow each participant enough room to be comfortable as they get to grips with the air powered rifles that we use for this activity. The whole target area itself can actually be used for a variety of other target sports, enabling the hub to be enjoyed by absolutely everyone.

We find everyone loves this activity and really engages with it straight away – which is something that can be said for so many of the activities that our visitors are keenly anticipating getting to try, often for the first time. Holding, controlling and successfully shooting the rifles bring an almost instant sense of achievement to the participants and an equally instant desire to try it over and over!

The simple rifles are safe and easy to use and their use is limited to a controlled environment. All rifles are fitted with safety catches and full training is given with safety paramount at all times, without hampering the fun. As the participants progress from their first shots, games are introduced which will increase the challenge as well as improving co-ordination and attention span. From starting with paper targets they can move on to greater difficulty, including our moving target challenge!

This activity is beneficial for children with additional needs. Our staff can help them to load the rifles if required.

Not all the activities at Barnstondale have their emphasis on the physical. Some of our most enduringly popular activities require groups to engage their brains as much as their limbs as they have to work out a problem that has been set them.

We have a number of problem solving games which encourage children to work as a team to achieve their goal. They may need to move a barrel across an assault course or get their team from one location to another without touching the ground. One of the biggest advantages to these activities is their setting in an open environment. There isn’t one right way to achieve the goal and creative thinking and communication are absolutely essential aspects for success.

The participants will need to think, plan, communicate and work together. By having to think their way through and having to work together towards the goal the experience can be a formative one for young people as they benefit from a great sense of achievement and appreciation that a team approach, rather than individual successes, often helps.

At Barnstondale we want to make sure that no one leaves their brains at home!

With acres of woodland on site you can now really get away from it all with this exciting activity choice – Wild Wood Experiences!

Hidden away besides a sleepy little river, you can now get back to nature for a few hours as you learn some vital skills from the past which will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the outdoors. Our activity leaders will ensure your group discovers the hidden secrets of our 12-acres of woodland.

We have geared the packages towards different age groups, to ensure everyone gets the most out of their experience.

DON’T FORGET – With all Wild Wood Experiences wellies are a must!

Wild Wood DISCOVERY – aimed at school year two and three
As part of the Wild Wood DISCOVERY experience you will help the leaders put up a shelter, which will become ‘home’ for the day and build a fire using simple materials. Using a map you will navigate around the woods, making friends with some of our small trees. There will be a chance to paddle down the stream, as well as play some games. During the experience you will be collecting items from nature, which you’ll use to create some art.

Wild Wood ADVENTURE – aimed at school year four and five
With the support of your leader you will build a shelter and learn to light a fire with a steel striker, as part of the Wild Wood ADVENTURE experience. Once the fire is lit you can use it to make a hot drink. You will learn to navigate from A to B using the map, and get into the stream to build a dam. As well as playing games and collecting items from nature, you will be tasked with identifying our trees by their leaves and measuring some of our smaller trees and recording the findings.

Wild Wood CHALLENGE – aimed at school year six up to adult
You will use your initiative to build a shelter, light a fire using a steel striker and use the fire to cook your lunch and make a hot drink. With a compass and map you’ll be expected to navigate the dale, studying the stream and the water flows, and the impact of dam building on the rise and fall of the water. As well as the opportunity to play some games, you will study and compare our small tress with previous studies and learn to identify some of the trees and plants growing in the wild wood.

This is another of the favourite activities; the young people cross the river suspended on a wire. Teamwork is essential as the groups, wearing harnesses, have to help each other cross the river using ropes.  You can beat the thrill of moving swiftly through the air and relying on your team to get you all the way across.

 

At the same time as experiencing the thrills of river crossing you can also choose to try another activity in the woods, the exciting Nightline! This requires trust as everyone is blindfolded and has to rely on their friends to guide them through the woods.  They need to listen to instructions and follow them carefully if they are to make if safely round the trail!

The dip of the paddle into the water, the sounds of the water lapping alongside you, the sounds of nature all around, the sense of achievement that comes with being able to control a craft on water….there’s an undoubted romance to learning how to kayak and we’re all for that at Barnstondale.

Children love to be on the water and love the opportunity to get wet! Groups are taught by our professional and experienced staff all the basic skills of kayaking and paddling that they need and how to stay in the kayak. It doesn’t take long before there are big grins across faces as the sense of achievement grows from being able to control the kayak.  However they somehow always manage to have additional fun by getting themselves and each other wet, one way or another….

This activity takes place at a local lake (weather permitting) which is a 20 minute drive from the Centre.

This is an excellent activity for building stamina and confidence.

Barnstondale is set within 15 acres of woodland which are always popular with groups to have some fun exploring. Our orienteering activity, however, provides children with an excellent opportunity to discover and explore all of Barnstondale while also gaining some useful new skills as they learn to navigate around the site.

Our instructors work alongside the groups as they are taught basic map reading skills and have to find markers. From little or no skills participants quickly develop confidence and ability, while they work as a team which develops their team skills, communication, thinking and concentrating.

It links with the geography curriculum and can be developed further as they identify species of plants and flowers etc.

Why just go for a walk when you can go orienteering instead?

Outside of our formal activity sessions, there’s lots of activity happening all around the site. One of the most popular areas with the children is the adventure playground, but that’s not the only place where additional activities can happen. With a sports barn, sensory trail and 15 acres of woodland to explore there’s always something to do at Barnstondale.

 

While we have a great range of activities available at Barnstondale, this is not an exhaustive list of everything you can do here –  you can still do your own thing!

Want to plan your own day of sports on our MUGA, a mini beasts or safari or tree and leaf rubbing in our 15 acres of woodland, 5 a side football in the sports hall, or even a whole theatrical presentation in the conference room? You can do all of that at Barnstondale too. Get in touch with us and let us know what your requirements are.

Climbing

With both an indoor and outdoor climbing wall Barnstondale is fantastically placed to deliver adventure in all weather and seasons. Both walls have been specifically designed and built to provide a range of challenges to match all abilities and ambitions, enabling all participants to reach their own personal sense of achievement.

Climbing is a timeless sport rightly famed for its excitement and adrenalin-packed thrills. Whether participants can’t wait to get started or are a bundle of nerves, Barnstondale provides a safe environment for them to discover new abilities and skills.

Our fully trained and experienced instructors will provide everyone with a safety-harness and helmet. Safety is always our primary concern. Each climber will work side by side with an instructor when it is their turn to climb and will be helped and directed as much as they need.

Young people are supported by a belay rope and can be lowered to the ground when they reach the top or sooner if they prefer.

As well as learning basic climbing skills the achievement of reaching personal goals builds self-esteem. It also helps develop co-ordination and determination.

Abseiling

With the tallest abseiling tower in Wirral at Barnstondale it’s not surprising how many people have experienced the adrenalin thrills of the fastest route to the bottom – and one go is never enough!

Young people love the challenge of the purpose built abseiling tower. Whilst a little daunting a first the thrill of stepping over the top gives them a great feeling of achievement. It’s a character and teambuilding experience for everyone. Even the most nervous participant gathers confidence from being cheered and encouraged from below.

Our fully trained instructors will ensure everyone has properly fitted safety harnesses and helmets and will take them step by step through everything they need to know in a safe and secure environment.

As a result children will learn the great feeling of taking risks and succeeding. This will build self-esteem and raise confidence. It may only be a few metres from top to bottom, but it’s a distance that can make a real difference.

Climbing is a timeless sport rightly famed for its excitement and adrenalin-packed thrills. Whether participants can’t wait to get started or are a bundle of nerves, Barnstondale provides a safe environment for them to discover new abilities and skills.

Our fully trained and experienced instructors will provide everyone with a safety-harness and helmet. Safety is always our primary concern. Each climber will work side by side with an instructor when it is their turn to climb and will be helped and directed as much as they need.

Young people are supported by a belay rope and can be lowered to the ground when they reach the top or sooner if they prefer.

As well as learning basic climbing skills the achievement of reaching personal goals builds self-esteem. It also helps develop co-ordination and determination.

Archery

Children of all ages love the challenge and adventure of trying archery. Whether they’ve seen it on TV, in film or computer games we find almost every child gets particularly excited when they come for their archery sessions!

Depending on the age of the children our fully trained instructors adapt the range to ensure all groups benefit. The activity is great fun as games are introduced in addition to the normal targets. This encourages a team approach and mutual encouragement. Children benefit from improved hand to eye co-ordination and enhanced self-esteem.

There are opportunities to develop maths skills as they add their scores and listening skills as they need to understand each game.

Target Rifles

Following a massive upgrade to our facilities for target sports, target rifles at Barnstondale has taken this already hugely popular activity to new levels. Target sports don’t have to just be computer games, at Barnstondale you can try them for real in a safe yet still exciting way.

Built to ensure a safe environment, the Target Hub has tiered seating separate from the shooting area to ensure that everyone is comfortable as they await their turn, as well as giving them a fantastic view of how their friends are doing. The shooting locations are purpose built and set up to allow each participant enough room to be comfortable as they get to grips with the air powered rifles that we use for this activity. The whole target area itself can actually be used for a variety of other target sports, enabling the hub to be enjoyed by absolutely everyone.

We find everyone loves this activity and really engages with it straight away – which is something that can be said for so many of the activities that our visitors are keenly anticipating getting to try, often for the first time. Holding, controlling and successfully shooting the rifles bring an almost instant sense of achievement to the participants and an equally instant desire to try it over and over!

The simple rifles are safe and easy to use and their use is limited to a controlled environment. All rifles are fitted with safety catches and full training is given with safety paramount at all times, without hampering the fun. As the participants progress from their first shots, games are introduced which will increase the challenge as well as improving co-ordination and attention span. From starting with paper targets they can move on to greater difficulty, including our moving target challenge!

This activity is beneficial for children with additional needs. Our staff can help them to load the rifles if required.

Teambuilding

Not all the activities at Barnstondale have their emphasis on the physical. Some of our most enduringly popular activities require groups to engage their brains as much as their limbs as they have to work out a problem that has been set them.

We have a number of problem solving games which encourage children to work as a team to achieve their goal. They may need to move a barrel across an assault course or get their team from one location to another without touching the ground. One of the biggest advantages to these activities is their setting in an open environment. There isn’t one right way to achieve the goal and creative thinking and communication are absolutely essential aspects for success.

The participants will need to think, plan, communicate and work together. By having to think their way through and having to work together towards the goal the experience can be a formative one for young people as they benefit from a great sense of achievement and appreciation that a team approach, rather than individual successes, often helps.

At Barnstondale we want to make sure that no one leaves their brains at home!

Wild Wood Experience

With acres of woodland on site you can now really get away from it all with this exciting activity choice – Wild Wood Experiences!

Hidden away besides a sleepy little river, you can now get back to nature for a few hours as you learn some vital skills from the past which will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the outdoors. Our activity leaders will ensure your group discovers the hidden secrets of our 12-acres of woodland.

We have geared the packages towards different age groups, to ensure everyone gets the most out of their experience.

DON’T FORGET – With all Wild Wood Experiences wellies are a must!

Wild Wood DISCOVERY – aimed at school year two and three
As part of the Wild Wood DISCOVERY experience you will help the leaders put up a shelter, which will become ‘home’ for the day and build a fire using simple materials. Using a map you will navigate around the woods, making friends with some of our small trees. There will be a chance to paddle down the stream, as well as play some games. During the experience you will be collecting items from nature, which you’ll use to create some art.

Wild Wood ADVENTURE – aimed at school year four and five
With the support of your leader you will build a shelter and learn to light a fire with a steel striker, as part of the Wild Wood ADVENTURE experience. Once the fire is lit you can use it to make a hot drink. You will learn to navigate from A to B using the map, and get into the stream to build a dam. As well as playing games and collecting items from nature, you will be tasked with identifying our trees by their leaves and measuring some of our smaller trees and recording the findings.

Wild Wood CHALLENGE – aimed at school year six up to adult
You will use your initiative to build a shelter, light a fire using a steel striker and use the fire to cook your lunch and make a hot drink. With a compass and map you’ll be expected to navigate the dale, studying the stream and the water flows, and the impact of dam building on the rise and fall of the water. As well as the opportunity to play some games, you will study and compare our small tress with previous studies and learn to identify some of the trees and plants growing in the wild wood.

River Crossing

This is another of the favourite activities; the young people cross the river suspended on a wire. Teamwork is essential as the groups, wearing harnesses, have to help each other cross the river using ropes.  You can beat the thrill of moving swiftly through the air and relying on your team to get you all the way across.

 

At the same time as experiencing the thrills of river crossing you can also choose to try another activity in the woods, the exciting Nightline! This requires trust as everyone is blindfolded and has to rely on their friends to guide them through the woods.  They need to listen to instructions and follow them carefully if they are to make if safely round the trail!

Kayaking

The dip of the paddle into the water, the sounds of the water lapping alongside you, the sounds of nature all around, the sense of achievement that comes with being able to control a craft on water….there’s an undoubted romance to learning how to kayak and we’re all for that at Barnstondale.

Children love to be on the water and love the opportunity to get wet! Groups are taught by our professional and experienced staff all the basic skills of kayaking and paddling that they need and how to stay in the kayak. It doesn’t take long before there are big grins across faces as the sense of achievement grows from being able to control the kayak.  However they somehow always manage to have additional fun by getting themselves and each other wet, one way or another….

This activity takes place at a local lake (weather permitting) which is a 20 minute drive from the Centre.

This is an excellent activity for building stamina and confidence.

Orienteering

Barnstondale is set within 15 acres of woodland which are always popular with groups to have some fun exploring. Our orienteering activity, however, provides children with an excellent opportunity to discover and explore all of Barnstondale while also gaining some useful new skills as they learn to navigate around the site.

Our instructors work alongside the groups as they are taught basic map reading skills and have to find markers. From little or no skills participants quickly develop confidence and ability, while they work as a team which develops their team skills, communication, thinking and concentrating.

It links with the geography curriculum and can be developed further as they identify species of plants and flowers etc.

Why just go for a walk when you can go orienteering instead?

Sports and Games

Outside of our formal activity sessions, there’s lots of activity happening all around the site. One of the most popular areas with the children is the adventure playground, but that’s not the only place where additional activities can happen. With a sports barn, sensory trail and 15 acres of woodland to explore there’s always something to do at Barnstondale.

Risk Assessments

At Barnstondale we work very hard to reduce the possible risk of all our activities and we constantly reassess and seek to make them even safer if we can. All adventure activities understandably carry some degree of risk, however, and so full risk assessments have been undertaken for all our activities.

In order that our group leaders are fully informed and to assist them in planning and booking their programmes we have made our latest risk assessments for our activities available below. Risk assessments are available as Microsoft Word doc format or Adobe PDF format and can be downloaded in one go in a zip file.

To download our risk assessments for your own use, please click the relevant links.

 Risk assessments in DOCX format (Zip file)

 Risk assessments in PDF format (Zip file)

Centre holds an AALA License.
Reference No: R0650
License No: L13484
Expiry Date: 17/06/20

The centre also holds a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.
Certificate no: R2QB102850
Expiry date: 10th May 2021

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