Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning provides a unique residential experience for students and school children right in the heart of the old Royal Hunting Forest of Exmoor. Owned and run by Exmoor National Park since 1969, Pinkery’s set-up provides the flexibility to deliver outdoor activities and special interest courses, or simply to be an accommodation stop whilst visiting/working on Exmoor. This article explores what’s available at Pinkery to give you the gen on why it’s the ideal place for hosting field study and outdoor education courses.
The first aspect of Pinkery that every visitor remarks on is – its location. Deep in the heart of Exmoor, 400 m above sea level in a secluded setting on the southern side of The Chains (the high spine of Exmoor), the site enables visitors rapid access to explore a vast variety of habitats, ecology and landscapes. This makes it popular for students of all the ‘outdoor’ study subjects from archaeology to botany, geography to environmental studies. And being at the centre of Europe’s first Dark Sky Reserve, it’s perfectly placed to observe the stars and planets without any light pollution as part of your astronomy field studies.
In addition, what makes Pinkery uniquely suited to field and outdoor studies is the access you have to the highly knowledgeable specialists based in Exmoor National Park Authority. So not only can you test and evaluate theories in practice on the ground, you’ll also have the opportunity to debate and challenge current working practice in the pursuit of knowledge sharing.
You will also get the opportunity to discover how to live ‘off-grid’ as Pinkery is also an EcoCentre. Electricity is generated by its own wind turbine and the largest array of photo voltaic shingles in the South of England, all of which reduce the impact on the local environment. Its water is spring-fed from the headwaters of the River Barle. This means every visitor can support our desire to “Take only memories, leave only footprints”.
Although its focus is as a Centre for Outdoor Learning, Pinkery also has plenty of indoor facilities to facilitate your learning experience – absorbing, evaluating and challenging the theories before putting it into practice in the great outdoors. There’s plenty of space to spread out, with three large communal rooms, plus the usual presentation equipment to share your discoveries with students and teachers.
Pinkery can accommodate up to 44 people at any one time (indoors) in 9 dormitories, all on the ground floor with en-suite facilities. There is also plenty of space for camping outside. You can stay on a self-catered or fully catered basis – our kitchen, dining room and lounge is available for you to configure as you need. Plus there is plenty of parking space for cars and mini-buses (so you don’t have to hike up the hill with surveying equipment!).
And it doesn’t have to be just about your academic learning. Get inspired by the landscape and atmosphere of Exmoor National Park to try out new skills in between your studies: climbing, orienteering, kayaking and coasteering – our location gives easy access to moorland, farmland, coast, rivers and lakes. Or enjoy the chance to ‘relive’ childhood activities, such as Archery or Grass Sledging (racing downhill, dodging cones as you go!). Let our Rangers take you on the Pinkery Pond Walk to experience the transition from farmland to open moorland, plus discover Pinkery Pond and explore the tunnel through the dam. Or uncover the heart of Exmoor – the open moorland, river valleys and coast – led by qualified and knowledgeable staff. Then finish the day over an open campfire, toasting marshmallows whilst you share your academic and outdoor exploits, whilst glimpsing the Milky Way in our dark skies.
Pinkery is about providing an experience that goes beyond the norm: where everyone can explore, develop and create new memories that have a lifelong impact. You can find out more about Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning on our web page, Twitter @PinkeryENPA or Facebook.
If you book a field study trip before 1st October 2017 for any time between 1 November 2017 and 31 March 2018, we are currently offering 50% off the booking price.
To find out more, get in touch with Pinkery’s Centre Manager, Dave Huxtable.