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vert bar Education at the National Botanic Gardens
Last updated: 19th February 2017

Educational Tours and Workshops for schools

A variety of special themed guided tours and workshops are available free of charge to school groups. All school visits should be pre-booked at the Visitor Centre – (01) 8570909/ 8040319 Guided Tours available for booking throughout the school year for both primary and secondary level:
Primary Schools Tours
  • The Rainforest – Explore Ireland’s only tropical rainforest in the Great Palm House, and find out about plants from all over the world. Available year round
  • Irish Plants – Hear all about Irish plants and trees, their uses, folklore, and how to identify them. Visit the Viking House and find out what plants they grew for food, clothing, and shelter. Available year round
  • Tree-mendous trees – Discover the lives of our great trees – how they produce their food, survive the seasons, and help us in our daily lives. Available year round
  • Sculpture in Context Tours for Primary Schools – Throughout the Sculpture in Context exhibition, primary school groups can book a special guided tour of the gardens that includes some of the exciting sculptures both outdoors and in the gallery and glasshouse areas. Thursday 8th September – Friday 21st October
  • National Tree Week – Tree walks for schools - Hear some fascinating facts and tales about native and exotic trees alike, and also learn how to identify some of our most popular trees. Suitable for 1st class and up. To celebrate National Tree Week each school group will have the opportunity to take away a tree to plant! Monday 6th-Friday 10th March
Primary Schools Workshops
  • Get Growing! – Join us for a workshop in our new Education Garden. Make and plant your own newspaper pots to take home and get tips on what is best to plant in your school garden. Follow this with a special guided tour of the Gardens that includes a trip to Ireland’s only tropical rainforest and learn to identify some native trees along the way. Sept-Oct & Mar-May
  • Delve Deeper – Take a tour of the Gardens and collect samples with our intrepid guides before going back to the Education Centre to experiment with our special, user-friendly, handheld, digital microscopes. See what leaves, seeds, and even microscopic bugs look like close up! Available year round
Primary Schools Trails
  • Plant Partners – Why not collect this self-guided trail and explore the intriguing world of plant and animal relationships. Year round
  • Food Trail – Our brand new food trail looks at some of our favourite Irish foods and some more unusual foods from around the world. Year round
  • Bark Trail – Observe and touch the different textures of trees.
  • Native Trail – Discover native Irish plants and the animals that use them. Also available as Gaeilge Second Level
Second Level Guided Tours
  • Plant Adaptations – This guided walk will look at some of the amazing adaptive features our plants have adopted to cope with everything from predators, habitat loss and climate change.
  • Plants & Us – We all use plants in so many ways each day. This guided tour will focus on the wealth of products we gain from plants from lipstick and chewing gum to cotton and vanilla!
  • Trees, trees, trees – Discover the secret life of trees on this tour where we will talk about everything from the Irish ‘Clash of the Ash’ to Sierra Nevada’s giant fire-resistant Redwoods.
Workshops for Secondary Level
  • Delve Deeper – Take a tour of the gardens and collect samples with our intrepid guides before going back to the Education Centre to experiment with our special, user-friendly, handheld, digital microscopes. See what leaves, seeds, and even microscopic bugs look like close up!
  • Ecology Workshop – Explore the world of ecology while taking an expedition through the Gardens exploring ecological concepts such as nutrient cycling, climate and soil adaptation, and habitat structure. This workshop combines an interactive classroom session with a tour of the Garden’s native and exotic plants. It also features activities such as:
    • mapping woodland and hedgerow habitats
    • stepping from tropical to desert biomes to explore plant adaptations to the world’s climate and environmental factors
    • searching the garden’s amazing plant collection for fascinating living examples of ecological relationships such as competition, predation, parasitism, and symbiosis
    Students will also get a rare chance to study plants at the centre of real conservation projects, and even see rare plants that are extinct in the wild. This workshop is based on the curriculum needs of the Leaving Cert Biology Sub-Unit General Principles of Ecology, but will also cover other aspects of the Leaving Cert Biology and Geography Curricula.

Further information from:

The Visitor Centre, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Phone: +353 (0)1 804 0319
Fax: +353 (0)1 836 0080