Osprey Education

Osprey (c) Pete Murray

Osprey Education

Osprey Education

Rutland Water is home to the first Ospreys to breed in Central England for more than 150 years. We would like to offer you and your pupils the opportunity to learn more about these magnificent birds. Education has always been an important aspect of the team’s work. The Rutland Ospreys form an excellent starting point for school children to engage with all areas of the school curriculum, and we have managed to link the osprey story to a wide range of lessons as well as fun activities and practical activities.

Visiting the Rutland Osprey Project

Lyndon Nature Reserve is the home of the Rutland Ospreys. The best time for school groups to visit the reserve and see the breeding Ospreys is between April and July. The summer term is most popular.

The maximum group size is 30 for the hide and any other activities in the reserve. As school visits are popular and we only have a small Education Team, prior booking is essential, giving as much notice as possible.

Visits for Key stage 2 and Key stage 3
Your visit will consist of two parts, first to go to see the Rutland Ospreys and then the second part includes a choice of practical activities at one or more of the reserve hides using the “Be an Osprey Expert” booklet.


  • Introduction to The Rutland Osprey Project – meet at the Lyndon Centre
  • Walk to the hide – along the track through the reserve (takes 10-20mins)
  • See the Ospreys – use of telescopes and binoculars to look at the Ospreys and other wildlife. The fully equipped hide has live video coverage of the ospreys.

Practical activities at Lyndon using the “Be an Osprey Expert” booklet
You will do one or more of the following activities depending on the length of your visit. These will be carried out at one or more of the hides on the reserve.

  • When I went Bird Watching– observing and identifying birds (binoculars provided)
  • Who eats who– building up food chains and food webs
  • Adaptations– how ospreys and other birds are designed to feed
  • Osprey watching technology– the science and technology behind osprey watching
  • Make a leg ring!
  • Zygodactylic!

The cost of a visit to Lyndon is £2 per pupil which includes a copy of “Be an Osprey Expert”   for each pupil, entrance to the reserve, and Osprey Education Team as guide(s).

The cost for Secondary, GCSE, or specialist post 16 visits depends on your requirements.
We may have to charge for any specialist course preparation or to provide teaching materials.

Other information

It is a 15 minute walk from the Lyndon Centre and car park along a track to the hide where the ospreys can be seen. Please note that there is no shelter until we get to the hide, so visitors need suitable warm outdoor clothing and footwear. If you have students with any mobility issues, please contact us so we may offer appropriate advice.

Watch our short video about school educational visits to the Lyndon Reserve...

Visiting your school

The Education team can visit schools in the Rutland area. We offer the following:

We can visit primary and secondary schools to give a whole school assembly about the Rutland Ospreys. This makes an excellent introduction to the Rutland Ospreys and starting point for a school wishing to develop a programme of study using our resources.

There are a choice of assembly talk titles and each of which content which is specifically designed to suit a primary or secondary schools audience, and suited to a first or subsequent visit.

Class or group activities
The Education team are all former teachers and have experience in working with primary and secondary school groups.

We can offer a range of presentations or practical activities for classes or small groups of pupils. This allows us a lot of flexibility in deciding with you about the content, delivery and timing of our activities with  your school group.

Printed resources - “Be an Osprey Expert”

This A5 pupil activity booklet has 26 pages, and is aimed at children Key stage 2 and Key stage 3 .It would form a useful resource for our visit and can then be used for subsequent class activities using information from the Rutland Water Website.

These can be sold at cost to schools – please ask for details.

No charge is normally made to visit any schools within a 25 mile radius of Rutland Water for a class presentation or assembly. However a donation is appreciated towards our travelling expenses.

For workshop or group activities please contact us to discuss your ideas. We can then advise about what we can offer and agree on which resources we can provide and if there will be any costs.

Making a booking
As we are a small team, prior booking is essential, giving us as much notice as possible. To help us to make the most of your booking we will need information about your school address/location, the age group of the audience, and the venue/ facilities including projection equipment and the area of the school where we will work with the pupils. As visits are popular, initially a choice of dates would be helpful.

Want to find out more or make a booking?
Contact Ken Davies, Education Officer-  Rutland Osprey Project

Email: kdavies@lrwt.org.uk Tel: 07950 403719

Osprey Ambassadors

What is an Osprey Ambassador?
We are inviting you to appoint or elect ‘Osprey Ambassadors’ from the student body in your school, who will be the Osprey Project’s representatives within the school, and will keep everyone informed and updated via regular assembly or classroom slots.

Once chosen, these students (probably two or three in number at each school) will be trained by members of our Education Team, and given resources which will enable them to perform their role effectively. We will work closely with members of the school staff to ensure that the ambassadors feel secure and confident with the materials provided. Via their teacher, we will communicate regularly with the students and suggest activities they might undertake during the school day or at after-school clubs.

Who can become an Osprey Ambassador?
Ambassadors’ are usually from Years 5 or 6 in the case of Primary Schools, and Years 7, 8 or 9 in the case of Secondary Schools, and tenure of office would be initially for one year. Exceptions can of course be made if a student from another year group shows interest, or is already involved with Rutland Water in another capacity (e.g. a Nature Detective, Nature Watch, or Wildskills group). Once selected, the chosen students and their teacher(s) will be offered training sessions, held at the school, at which members of the Education Team will give basic instruction in Osprey biology, distribution, history etc, and establish methods of communication for the year. These will obviously vary from school to school, and can be tailored to suit your needs and wishes.

Role of an Osprey Ambassador
‘Osprey Ambassadors’
 are issued with special badges and information books, and act as hosts when members of the Osprey Project Education Team visit the school for a presentation or for any other school osprey event.

Similarly, if the school visits Lyndon nature reserve, Rutland Water during the Summer Term, we would expect the ambassadors to assist with the planning and running of the visit. At the end of their period of office, ambassadors will assist in the training of their successors. Ambassadors pass on the latest news to their school. We provide newsletters, presentations and other information to help them with this important job. Ambassadors can attend Ambassadors’ Osprey Club, held from April to September, at Lyndon nature reserve.

Are you interested?
Schools will have their own ideas on the running of this scheme, and we are eager to hear them. As a first step, could you please let us know your initial reaction via a quick e-mail or phone call? We really do wish to extend our growing links with as many schools as possible, and feel this is an ideal opportunity for students to take an exciting step towards a closer involvement with these magnificent birds in our locality. We should add finally that there are no charges to the school.

If you would like a team member to come to your school to explain the scheme in more detail to staff and students, please let us know. We hope to hear from you soon.

Ambassador's Osprey Club!

Osprey Club 2020

We regret that Osprey Club is cancelled until further notice. We will notify all Ambassadors when Osprey Club resumes, and the post any information here.

Osprey Ambassadors “Ken’s Challenge”

As we cannot meet at Osprey Club Ken has a challenge for all the Ambassadors to do at home ! All Osprey Ambassadors can take part… and there are prizes!

Ken's Challenge   Feather Quiz

Ambassadors Bye-Bye Osprey Week (BOW)
Ambassadors finish the osprey season at the Volunteer Training Centre to the ‘BOW’ party. Sunday 6th September 2020 2-4pm, Volunteer Training Centre.

Osprey Ambassadors’ Facebook Group
Updates and latest news for Ambassadors is via our private Osprey Ambassadors’ Facebook group. Ambassadors or their parent/guardian can opt in to this useful way of keeping in touch.

Details for Parents and teachers

  1. Getting to Lyndon Reserve. The Lyndon Reserve is between Manton and Edith Weston on the south shore of Rutland Water. For more information and directions click here. Post Code LE15 8RN.
  2. Entry to the reserve; The Ambassador and one adult will be admitted free on production of the Osprey Club membership card.
  3. Waderscrape hide is 15 mins walk from the Visitor Centre along the track. There is no shelter until you get to the hide, and the only toilet facilities are located in the Lyndon Visitor Centre.
  4. What should Ambassadors bring with them? The Ambassadors should bring their Osprey memory stick with them, and a notebook and pencil. Appropriate clothing and suitable footwear should be worn.
  5. Arrival and departure times are totally flexible. Ambassadors can visit any time between 2 and 4pm. “Osprey Club” will finish at 4pm. Ambassadors and a parent/guardian may arrive before or stay after this time, as they wish.

Want to find out more?
Contact Ken Davies, Education Officer-  Rutland Osprey Project

Email: kdavies@lrwt.org.uk Tel: 07950 403719

Reserve Expert Summer School 2020

Cameron Bespolka Trust logo

Do you want to become a “Reserve Expert”?

We are offering young people in school years 5-11, the chance to work with our Rutland Ospreys team to learn more about birds and other wildlife on the Lyndon reserve at Rutland Water, home of the Rutland Ospreys. There will be lots to do, with plenty of activity sessions. You will get the chance to visit the hide to see the Rutland ospreys and find out more about tracking and monitoring these birds. Reserve Expert Days are a great way to work with our reserve staff, do lots of new things, and make new friends!

In 2020 we shall offer two levels of activity days, First Flights and High Flyers!

Reserve Expert – First Flights
These activities will be offered on separate dates for primary aged children in years 5 or 6, and to secondary aged children in years 7 – 11. They will be similar to last year’s Reserve Expert Days, and subject to weather and reserve staff available could include the following activities:

• Bird ringing; Introduction to bird ringing and recording
• How to identify birds using visual features, bird watching and identification
• Bird Sounds; what these mean, sonograms, and describing bird sounds
• The Rutland Ospreys; watching and carrying out a simple behaviour study
• Bird feathers; features and their identification
• Owl pellets; a simple dissection of a pellet and identification of parts found

Reserve Expert – High Flyers
These days are for children who attended last year’s Reserve Expert sessions (in Years 7-11), have worked with us as Osprey Ambassadors, or have experience either on their own local nature reserve or with a wildlife group. The activities can be based on First Flights, but are suited to youngsters with more knowledge, will cover more detail, and may move at a faster pace. Subject to weather and the reserve staff available, the day may include the following activities:

• Bird watching; field notes, bird features & identification, and field recording
• Wildlife watching tools – Using binoculars, telescopes, lenses, and digiscoping
• Insects; Their features, identification, observing and recording
• Bird Sounds and Calls – using sounds for identification and sound recording
• The Rutland Ospreys; More advanced osprey watching and recording
• Bird feathers; Their features and their identification
• Tracks and traces; finding, recording, and deciding what they mean

Reserve Expert Days 2020

May Half Term
Reserve Expert – First Flight 

  • Primary age children in Years 5 or 6: Tuesday 26th May 2020
  • Secondary age children in Years 7 – 11: Wednesday 27th May 2020

Reserve Expert – High Flyers

  • Children in Years 6 – 11 (10-16 years old): Thursday 28th May 2020

Summer Holiday
Reserve Expert – First Flight

  • Primary aged children in Years 5 or 6: Tuesday 28th July 2020
  • Secondary children in Years 7 – 11:  Wednesday 29th July 2020

Reserve Expert – High Flyers

  • Children in Years 6 – 11 (10-16 years old): Thursday 30th July 2020

For more information and a booking form

Contact Ken Davies, Education Officer-  Rutland Osprey Project

Email: kdavies@lrwt.org.uk Tel: 07950 403719

The Lyndon Letter Newsletter

The Osprey Education Team have put together a brand new newsletter, 'The Lyndon Letter', to share all the exciting news about the Rutland ospreys, activities and events and of course osprey education! There will be a series of three (maybe more) throughout the year and if you would like to sign up to receive your very own copy please contact Osprey Education Officer Ken Davies at kdavies@lrwt.org.uk.

You can view and download the newsletters using the links below which will open in a new tab.

The Lyndon Letter

The Lyndon Letter - December 2020, Issue 1

The first edition of The Lyndon Letter sees the Osprey Education Team introduce themselves, gives an overview of the 2020 season and looks forward to the 2021 season which is the Rutland Osprey Project's 25th Anniversary.

The Lyndon Letter - Dec 2020, Issue 1

Osprey flying over water

WildNet - Andrew Mason

Osprey Songs and Videos

We've pulled together our favourite songs and videos about ospreys, some of which have been sent in by schools that we work with, some by individuals, and some clips are taken straight from our webcam. They make a great starting point for teaching or learning resource.

Discover more

Children's Books

Our Osprey Education Officers, Ken Davies and Pete & Jackie Murray have created four wonderful children’s books all inspired by the Rutland Ospreys. All books are available to buy at the Lyndon Visitor Centre.

Ozzie's Migration, by Ken Davies

Ozzie's Migration by Ken Davies and John Wright

Tells the story of Ozzie on his first migration from Rutland to Africa. It is a difficult journey for a young osprey and you will find out in words and pictures what happens on his journey south. Based on real events this book is written by Ken Davies with colour illustrations by John Wright, Field Officer on the Rutland Osprey Project.

Ozzie's Return, by Ken Davies

Ozzie's Return cover

Ozzie has now grown up in Africa and after two years is ready to make his first migration back to Rutland Water where he was “born”. Who will he meet and what will he see on his journey north? The story is once again based on real events and is written by Ken Davies and with colour illustrations by John Wright, Field Officer on the Rutland Osprey Project.

Ozzie Leads the Way, by Ken Davies

Ozzie Leads the Way cover

Four thousand kilometres apart, two groups of young people are united as they track and study an osprey migrating over the sea, mountains and desert. This novel by Ken Davies is based on the real life of an osprey. It describes how a group of children and their teacher see an osprey near Rutland Water, and follows the osprey’s adventures through Europe and to Africa where Ozzie experiences a new life and people in other cultures.

The beautiful colour illustrations and black and white drawings by Fiona Gomez add a pictorial dimension to Ken’s narrative about the people and places in this story.

Be an Osprey Expert, by Jackie and Pete Murray

Be an Osprey Expert cover

Anyone can become an Osprey Expert. This children’s activity book explores every aspect of the life of an osprey in its 24 pages, including osprey facts, feeding, migration, how to study ospreys, plus games, drawing and quiz pages. The book is equally useful on a visit to the reserve when you come to see our real live ospreys (we use it with our visiting educational groups), or can be used at home using the power of the internet!

Complete the book and become a certificated Osprey Expert!

Nature reserve expert book cover

Be a Nature Reserve Expert

Become a nature expert with our new nature-themed activity book for children. 

With 24 pages of nature-based activities, the compact A5 size is easy for children to handle. Each spread has a theme, with information, simple practical activities, and spaces to record what they see.

You don't need a nature reserve! All the activities can be done almost anywhere: a garden, a park, a school field, or any wild space will have what is needed for the activities to be completed by children of all ages.

£5.00 including postage and packaging.  

Order your book now

Contact us

Want to find out more?

Contact Ken Davies, Education Officer-  Rutland Water Osprey Project

Email: kdavies@lrwt.org.uk