Outdoor Learning


The Bespolka Family very generously offered a challenge grant in memory of their son Cameron
(C, 2011 – 2013), who tragically died in 2013. From a very early age, Cameron was passionate about nature and in particular birds, which is why the family is keen to help ensure that outdoor learning is an important part of a Winchester education. The Bespolka's pledged to match £1 for £1 every donation in support of this project, up to a value of £50,000.

The exciting news is that to date, through the Parents Event Committee, £64,000 has been raised, ensuring that the Bespolka's challenge has been secured!

This will be a wonderful legacy to Cameron and his time at Winchester.

PROJECT COST £200,000 - £41,000 still to raise

Outdoor learning is now being actively encouraged by Ofsted, and many schools across the UK are beginning to look beyond the traditional classroom and incorporate outdoor learning within the curriculum. It has also been proved that attention spans and therefore the quality of the learning experience is improved by simply being outside.

Originally the Biology Department identified a need for a safe and easily manageable space in which to take classes who are learning about Freshwater Biology and sampling techniques. After consulting with colleagues and with agreement from the Headmaster, The Duncan Louis Stewart Fellow in Natural History created a plan for an outdoor classroom and pontoon area next to the river, which would give students the opportunity to put their learning into practice and to engage with their surroundings.


  • To be simple, easily maintained and long lasting 
  • A well-engineered seating and writing area
  • Blend in with the local surroundings
  • Utilised by all disciplines 
  • To accommodate up to 22 students
  • Available to community groups and other schools 

It will be located near the corner of Meads adjacent to the Meads Wall and between this and the Logie stream. This area is close to the school, is not a public site, nor easily overlooked and is far enough away from other lessons for it not to be a distraction.

Due to the very sensitive location of this project, planning permission is required.

  • Within the Winchester Conservation Area
  • Adjacent to the Wall surrounding College Mead, which is a Grade 11 Listed building
  • Part of the pontoon falls within the boundary of the South Downs National Park and therefore the proposals also have to be submitted to the National Park Authority
  • Within close proximity to The River Itchen, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation.

The planning application has been submitted. Due to the sensitivity of the area there were also a significant number of impact surveys that were required to satisfy the authorities that all the environmental factors had been considered. 

The tendering process is now complete and the cost of the project is £200,000. 

  • Classroom - £58,000
  • Pontoon, including the steel substructure and the timber deck - £65,000
  • Landscaping, ground works, paths, replanting - £55,000
  • Temporary Access Road - £15,000
  • Removable Lectern - £7,000

These figures include the numerous survey’s that had to be undertaken, the steel grids needed to reenforce the pontoon area, contingency, VAT and fees.

If you have any questions, please contact Winchester College Society, Development Office.
T. +44 (0)1962 621217

Support Us


Outdoor Learning Nick Baker

Nick Baker, Duncan Louis Stewart Fellow of Natural History

Read more information about the Duncan Louis Stewart Fellowship in Natural History.


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Please help us rise to the challenge and ensure that every boy at Winchester benefits from Cameron's legacy.

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