An Introduction to Martineau Gardens – an outdoor learning environment

Martineau Gardens is a two and a half acre Community Garden in the heart of Birmingham. In the 1960s, when the Gardens became an environmental study centre, diverse habitats and features were creatively designed with children in mind. Since then, thousands of Birmingham school children have visited the Gardens to learn about the natural world and wildlife.

Bring your class or educational group here for an opportunity to learn about the natural environment in the heart of the city. (Please note: all educational visits must be booked in advance.) All of our teaching sessions are directly linked to the science programmes of study in the National Curriculum, and are delivered by a qualified teacher. Martineau Gardens holds the Learning Outside the Classroom award.  During your visit you’ll find a range of learning opportunities for your group, including:

  • Exploring different habitats (grassland, woodland, meadow) to find out about the plants and animals that live there
  • Learning about parts of plants and their functions; and requirements for growth
  • Searching for, identifying and classifying invertebrates
  • Finding out where food comes from by looking at the vegetable plots, orchard and herb garden – you will even get to taste some home-grown produce
  • Understanding the important role of bees as pollinators of our crops by visiting the beehives
  • Investigating food chains, life cycles and adaptation

And no visit is complete without the chance to play (and eat packed lunches) around the shipwreck play area!

Our Staff

Our teacher, Juliette Green, is an experienced Environmental Educator and primary school teacher, with an in-depth knowledge of the primary National Curriculum. She is also a published author who has written books and resources about outdoor learning across the curriculum.

Caroline Starr has retired, click here for our tribute to Caroline’s tremendous contribution to Martineau Gardens. 

Booking an Educational Visit

At Martineau Gardens we offer a full day Educational Visit. This includes a National Curriculum-focused teaching session (see choice below), led by our qualified teacher Juliette Green, and a guided tour of the Gardens with a member of Martineau Gardens’ staff, showing the children how the natural world is working around them. This is suitable for groups of up to 32 pupils at one time*.


You can book:

Primary School Visit

A full day for up to 32 pupils. The class will be divided in half and each group will receive your chosen teaching session (see below for options) and a tour of the gardens. The cost is £175.

Environmental Visit

A full day for up to 15 pupils who will receive a teaching session of your choice (see below for options) and a tour of the gardens. The cost is £125. 

Garden Tour

Two hours in the gardens for up to 15 children who will receive a tour lasting in the region of 1 – 1.5 hours. The cost is £40.


Self-led activities 

Without our staff. Book your educational visit to Martineau Gardens, but lead all outdoor learning activities yourself. The cost is £1 per head, per hour.

*Group size 32 = Martineau Gardens is two and half-acres of organically maintained, varied landscape. There’s lots to see, but it’s modest in size. For that reason it’s suitable for a maximum of 32 children at any one time. If you would like to bring more than one class, then we suggest that the visits are on different days. Please ring us to help you plan your needs on 0121 440 7430.

Booking for Early Years Foundation Stage and Primary Schools

We offer the following five national curriculum-focussed teaching sessions, for you to choose from:

  • Be a Plant Professor: parts of plants and their functions; conditions for growth; identifying and naming plants
  • Minibeast Safari: searching for invertebrates in the woodland; pond dipping; life cycles
  • Habitat Explorers: finding out about the different habitats at Martineau Gardens; food chains; create a habitat
  • Adaptation, Evolution and Classification (Darwin, Linnaeus and the Tree of Life): classification, adaptation and evolution of plants and animals
  • Pirate Adventure: go on a treasure hunt, using maps and compasses; make your own boats; pirate art

Our handouts 1. EYFS Info sheet and 2. Primary Teaching Sessions Info sheet   give more information and detailed curriculum links to help you decide which teaching session to choose. The teaching session will be tailored to meet the curriculum requirements for your year group.

If you would like to arrange a visit covering a different theme, for example outdoor maths, art, literacy, please ring us to discuss this on 0121 440 7430.

To book a visit, complete and return the relevant form for your year group, 1a. EYFS booking form or  2a. Primary booking form   We will contact you to discuss and arrange the details of the visit.

Booking for Secondary School, Special Schools and other Educational Groups

To book a visit, complete and return the 3a. Secondary booking form  We’ll contact you to discuss and arrange the details of the visit.

Young people from Secondary Schools in Birmingham also have the opportunity to spend two weeks on work experience learning about horticulture, alongside a diverse range of volunteers.

Our Terms & conditions  are here

Group visits for Educational Youth Groups

The Gardens can be booked for activities run by our qualified teacher or specialist educator. Woodcraft, Brownies, Scouts, Nurseries and Home Educating Groups frequently bring groups of young people to Martineau Gardens. Group visits must be booked in advance.

Garden Tours: Up to 15 people at a time, £40 for  2 hours in the garden (tour takes 1-1.5 hours) between 9.30am and 4pm

7. Garden Tours booking form

Educational Visit: Up to 15 people at a time, £125 for a full day, which includes a session and a tour. Choose from one of the four options listed above – more details are in this handout:

2. Primary Teaching Sessions Info sheet 

6. Non-school educational visit booking form

In addition to our woodland and wildlife area, the Gardens have two Forest School Areas, an outdoor cooking area (with Earth Oven) and a bonfire area all of which are available for hire for running Forest School activities.


Other opportunities.

The Gardens are available to hire for children’s parties or a personal celebration for family or friends. Click here to find out more.

You can also bring adult groups for a tour at Martineau Gardens – if you’d like to book a tour for adults, please call 0121 440 7430.

We are delighted that Martineau Gardens has been awarded a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge in recognition of our good-quality education provision