An outdoor learning environment for schools in Ireland
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What is an Outdoor Classroom?
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Wild since the Ice Age....
The project is supported by
Griston Bog Outdoor Classroom provides school groups with safe, close-up contact with nature on a bog.
Griston is a raised bog that developed within a lake of meltwater after the last ice age. It now has areas of bog, fen and ponds, semi-natural woodland as well as planted forestry. It is rich in insect life which in turn supports many birds and other animals such as frogs, newts and lizards.
The site is compact, facilitating safe and easy management of the group, yet sufficiently varied and exciting to give children a real feel for the great outdoors. Wildlife is very accessible and easily observed at Griston Bog.
Boardwalks bring children through these varied habitats to a range of facilities such as the bird feeding station and bird-hide, insect hotel and pond-dipping facility.
Plant and insect-life can be investigated up close from the security of teaching decks in the bog and at carefully designed, wheelchair accessible dipping ponds.
Griston Bog is fully equipped as a classroom and science lab. An exciting Discover Primary Science and Maths programme, led by experienced guides, is available.
Griston Bog Outdoor Classroom can accommodate up to 40 children at one time.
Wheel chair access to all facilities and throughout the outdoor classroom.
Coach and car parking
Toilet: With disabled access
Approximately 0.5km of boardwalk through wetland habitats (bog, fen and pond) with decks for teaching from.
"Outdoor Classroom" Cabin
Bird feeding station and bird-hide.
Insect hotel and dipping ponds
Information boards showing birds, plants, insects and history of Griston Bog.
Ballyhoura Outdoor Classroom is designed by Grey Heron Media
& managed by Ballyhoura Heritage & Environment Ltd, Main St, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick.
This website was designed by Grey Heron Media & Environment, Lower Main Street, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick.
Griston Bog is 1km from Ballylanders, Co. Limerick. Download a map and directions.
Directions from Ballylanders to Griston Bog:
The turn for Griston is signposted on the Main Street of Ballylanders at McDermott's Pub.
If coming from the Mitchelstown direction the turn is on your left just before McDermott's Pub.
If coming from Kilfinane/Knocklong the turn is on your right just at McDermott's Pub.
After the turn you'll pass a veterinary clinic on your left.
Follow this road for about 1 km.
Griston Bog is on your right, and is signposted.
Make a booking using the online form or by telephone.
We recommend that you download the Fieldtrip Planner and Guidelines for Safe Learning Outdoors from our downloads page and use these to prepare for your fieldtrip.
Discover Science + Maths in the Bog: a 2 hour programme designed for 3rd to 6th class, including
Time travel through the stages of bog development
Probe and measure the depth of the bog and test predictions
Use quadrats to determine how common sphagnum moss, the bog building plant, is at Griston and to learn about fair testing
Spot signs of the season
Bird watching: observation skills using binoculars
Pond dipping: observation skills using microscopes
This map can be downloaded and printed from our Downloads Page.
"You wouldn't expect what you find here. I never knew there were lizards in Ireland."
Claire, 6th Class Pupil
"Because you're leading the kids in the activities it's very real for you as the teacher. When the kids are talking about the visit the next day in school you can really appreciate what they say because you did the activities with them. There's a great satisfaction in leading the group yourself. "
Mr. O'Sullivan, 5th Class Teacher, Co. Cork.