Understanding the risks

Throughout our project we have discovered there are a lot of concerns about the risks involved with taking children outside, and this can be a big barrier to outdoor education. This is understandable as a lot of societal perceptions view the outside world as dangerous to children; however a lot of these dangers are overplayed or easily avoided.

If you can identify the hazards outdoors and address them with suitable control measures, outdoor learning is a very low risk activity. Some teachers have expressed that they find it hard to recognise hazards that may exist out of doors, therefore we have come up with a simple ‘hazard tick list’ with some example hazards you might find in your school grounds.

O Brambles, holly, other prickly plants

O Nettles

O Low hanging branches, dead trees

O Uneven, steep or slippery ground

O Proximity to roads and traffic

O Poisonous fungi and berries

O Open water

O Animal mess

O Rabbit holes or other hidden dips

O Large or sharp rocks