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Risk Assessment Guidelines

Wild Place Project risk guidelines & code of conduct for visiting schools and groups


General

We have put together the following guidelines in order that everyone has an enjoyable and interesting day. We aim to do everything to ensure the safety of our visitors. Please note that these are only guidelines; we encourage you to conduct your own risk assessment by requesting a free pre-visit ticket by calling 0117 980 7175 or emailing info@wildplace.co.uk. Organisers should make sure that there are sufficient amount of supervisory staff with the education group at all times.

Regular safety inspections and risk assessments are carried out covering all areas of Wild Place Project. We hold current Fire Risk Assessments and the equipment is regularly checked and maintained


First Aid

Wild Place Responsibilities:
  • The First Aid Point is situated in Guest Information near the entrance to Wild Place Project.   There is a protocol to ensure that there are always sufficient trained first aiders on site.
School Responsibilities:
  • Anyone on regular medication should carry it with them or a supervisor should store medication and know how to administer it.


Transfer from car-park

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Designated paths with barriers are provided for safe transfer of people from coaches.
School responsibilities:
  • Children must be supervised at all times.


Fences & Barriers

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Warning signs displayed on electric fences.
School responsibilities:
  • For the safety of animals as well as visitors, barriers must not be crossed.
  • Do not let children touch electric fences.


Trees & Rocks

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Woodland and other trees & branches are checked before each session and made safe if necessary.
School responsibilities:
  • Children to be supervised at all times in woodland areas and instructed to avoid any low twigs and branches
  • We recommend that visitors do not shelter under trees during stormy weather.


Poisonous plants

Wild Place Project responsibilities: 
  • Known poisonous plants (dog mercury etc.), nettles and thistles will be pointed out by the learning officer and should be avoided.
School responsibilities:
  • Woodland foliage, berries or flowers must not be eaten and hands washed after handling of any foliage/fungi. 
  • Children must be supervised so as to prevent ingestion of natural materials.


Ticks

Wild Place Project responsibilities
  • To provide advice on the safe removal of ticks


Standing water

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Barriers and warning signs indicating areas of deep water.
School responsibilities:
  • Supervision should be sufficient to prevent children from playing near standing water.


Playground & Fun Fort

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • The playground areas are suitable for children up to 12 years old.
  • The equipment is regularly maintained and safety checked.
  • The ground surface is designed to limit injury if falls occur.
School Responsibilities:
  • Children should be supervised at all times.


Café and Shops

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Hygiene regulations are adhered to.
  • Lunch bags can be ordered prior to the visit.
  • Only food purchased in the café can be consumed in the café, apart from during the winter months when ‘indoor picnicking’ is available (please call to check booking arrangements.)
School responsibilities:
  • Children should be supervised at all times.


Animals on show

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Appropriate signs are located at enclosures.
School responsibilities:
  • Explain appropriate behaviour around animals prior to the visit.
  • Do not allow children to make loud noises at the animals, or bang on enclosures.
  • Do not allow children to touch lemurs in the Madagascar village.
  • Do not allow children to feed the animals, or drop rubbish into animals’ enclosures.
  • Do not touch, run towards, corner or make loud noises near wild animals.
  • Children may touch goats may be stroked at your own risk in the Madagascar village.
  • Ensure children wash their hands after handling animals & before eating.


Wild Place Project vehicles

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Only competent and trained drivers are allowed to drive within WPP grounds.
School Responsibilities:
  • Be aware that vehicles and trolleys are used throughout WPP for operational purposes.

Animal Escape

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Security of enclosures is tightly controlled. In the unlikely event that a dangerous animal escapes there is a trained team to lead the recapture. All staff are aware of the protocols concerning leading visitors into safe areas.


Learning session activities

Animal handling

Q. Does animal handling carry a risk of infection?

Wild Place Projects responsibilities:
  • All housed animals are regularly health checked by the Vet.
  • There are husbandry rules for caring for animals that all staff adhere to.
  • Some animals will be shown to younger children and others who are vulnerable but they will not be allowed to touch them.
  • Woodland invertebrates should not be handled
  • Hand-wash is available after every session and all children shown how to wash their hands.
  • Booking forms include questions about any specific medical conditions, allergies or special needs that the WPP should be alerted about.
  • Outdoor Learning Officers will explain appropriate method of handling animals before proceeding.
  • Care is taken to ensure that animals are handled in rotation, to avoid stressing animals by over-handling.
  • Sufficient animals are available for the number of groups booked.
  • Suitable species are chosen for handling. Animals have a period of adjustment during which they become used to being handled before being presented to visitors.
  • Only those children who show they are willing and confident (by raising their hands) will be given animals to handle.
  •  Outdoor learning officers will remove animals if they are showing signs of agitation.
School responsibilities:
  • Teachers to ensure that there is no eating or drinking allowed in the Madagascar village.
  • Children should be discouraged from putting their fingers in their mouths or near their eyes during the session.
  • Hand washing should be supervised.
  • Teachers are responsible for identifying children who are more at risk – those with low immunity, allergies or other special needs.
  • Children should refrain from making loud noises and moving around during handling sessions.

Q. What if a member of the group has an animal phobia?

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Education Officers will choose animals on the basis of the information supplied regarding phobias.
School responsibilities:
  • Those with phobias should make this apparent on the booking form prior to visit.

Q. During education sessions a variety of props such as skins, bones and preserved animals may be used – could these be a danger to groups?

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Clear instructions are given to the children by the Outdoor learning officer before an activity starts.
  • Children are asked to move carefully round any props.
  • Clear instructions are given on how to handle props to avoid injury from pointed edges, sharp surfaces, slippery materials etc.
  • Outdoor learning officers ensure that props chosen are appropriate to the group.
School responsibilities:
  • Teachers need to provide information on any allergies, medical conditions or special needs in advance on the booking form provided.
  • Teachers need to support the instructions given by the Outdoor learning officer, by stopping children (and if necessary removing them from the learning session) if they are endangering themselves or others.


Seed planting

If your session includes seed planting or plant/flower handling:

Wild Place Project responsibilities:
  • Children with any cuts on hands will wear gloves.
  • Children will be instructed in the correct use of equipment.
  • Antiseptic hand-wash and hand washing facilities are provided
School responsibilities:
  • To identify children who need to wear gloves (on form provided when booking).
  • To supervise children during activity.