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Outdoor classroom

Boasting a stunning 200-hectare estate of farmland, woodland and streams in the heart of rural Nottinghamshire, our Brackenhurst Campus will truly take your education beyond the classroom. Whichever course you're on, our beautiful estate provides a wealth of practical experience and the perfect outdoor learning environment for your research and field work.

Bird ringing

A wildlife haven

Not only are you surrounded by beautiful countryside at Brackenhurst, but the estate is also home to a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the species you might be lucky enough to spot here include bats, owls, merlin, sparrow hawk, buzzard, kestrel, hobby, red kite, peregrine falcon, yellow hammer, tree sparrow, house sparrow, bullfinch, great crested newt, smooth newt, wood mouse, field vole, bank vole, hare and many more.

Student conducting meteorological research on Brackenhurst Campus

Brackenhurst Weather Station

We have an onsite weather station, which provides opportunities for meteorological research at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our Weather Station consists of several components including an Adcon weather station with sensors for soil temperature and moisture, wind speed and direction, air temperature, and relative humidity, and a solarimeter along with a Pluvio rain gauge. As well as a separate Casella automatic tipping bucket rain gauge, to give greater precision.

Access the live data feed from the weather station.

Protecting the environment

As one of the UK's most environmentally friendly universities, Brackenhurst plays a key part in NTU's commitment to sustainability.

Part of the DEFRA Environmental Stewardship Scheme, our farm promotes sustainable land use and management, integrating modern farming techniques with conservation work.

Main Hall - Brackenhurst

Our historical ponds

We have a range of various aquatic ecosystems across the campus, including our beautiful Dew Pond situated in front of Main Hall. These ponds, rivers and streams are used for various practical's by our students such as the overall management including reed and coppice management. They are also used for surveying species such as the great crested newt, giving students the opportunity to explore and understand these special habitats.

Student hedgelaying

Species rich hedgerows

Another feature of our Outdoor Classroom includes our species rich hedgerows. These historically significant habitats are managed by our students and give the opportunity to take part in hedge laying. This provides a safe and special home for our animals and provides flowers and fruits for all types of birds and insects.

Student using camera trap

Camera trapping

We have a range of Bushnell Essential E3 camera traps available for use within our Outdoor Classroom. These devices can capture still images and videos of local wildlife to provide data on areas such as species location, population sizes and how species are interacting.

Brack flood management scheme

Natural flood management scheme

We have established a natural flood management scheme on a stream that runs through our campus. This has involved restoring the natural shape of the stream, introducing woody debris to make leaky barriers and building water storage areas. We monitor rainfall and stream water levels using in-situ instruments that record data in real-time to look at how these methods slow water flow and capture run-off.

Outdoor classroom

Environmental monitoring

The farmland, woodland, streams and ponds on our campus mean that we can learn to characterise and monitor the quality of lots of different habitats straight from our doorstep. We collect soil and water samples from these habitats and use a range of different instruments for chemical analysis. These include hand-held HANNA probes to record conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen content and temperature and HACH machines to record levels of nutrients and heavy metals.

Outdoor classroom

  • Subject area: Animal, equine and wildlife
  • Category: Learning tools and spaces; Research; Animal/Veterinary
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus