There are lots of places to purchase equipment from which will suit a range of requirements and budgets. We’ve pulled together a list for you, and included some ideas for useful session packs too.

Equipment and resources

These sites sell a variety of things you may require.

Pond equipment

A class can be divided into groups for a pond dipping session – each group having a set of equipment to share.

An example class set of equipment for 30 children.

  • Nets -6-8 nets is about right for a class of 30 ( 1 net for each group )
  • Trays ( 1 for each group + a few spares )
  • Class pack of magnifiers
  • Bug pots ( a couple for each group )
  • Mix of ID guides e.g. FSC Name trail ID guides /Gatekeeper pond guides etc
  • Sectioned specimen trays are often used in pond dipping to view smaller pond creatures but are not essential (6-well plastic paint pallets can be used instead), spoons can be used to collect specimens to place in separate sections
  • Bucket – to collect pond water for filling the trays

An example of a set of pond dipping equipment is available from NHBS.

Nature detectives/ minibeast equipment & resources
  • Seasonal detective worksheets ( e.g. signs or spring, summer, etc )
  • ID Guides: including plants , bugs, trees , fungi, animal tracks and signs – can be alternated depending on season / activity/ year group
  • Bug viewers
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Sweep nets (for catching invertebrates in longer grass)

Example Nature Detectives Kit

Fill a set of grab and go bags with resources that can be handed out to each group within a class.

Suggestions for contents:

  • Magnifying glasses ( one for each pupil)
  • Bug boxes
  • Paint brush ( for gently getting bugs into bug boxes)
  • Worksheet or tick sheet
  • Seasonal nature detective sheet
  • Binoculars
  • ID charts – e.g. minibeasts , plants, trees , fungi, animal tracks & signs, seasonal spotters

Citizen Science

Citizen science projects your school can take part in:

Nature and wildlife apps for tablets
  • The Wildlife Trusts: Nature finder app
  • Woodland Trust Tree ID app
  • There are also a number of plant identifier apps for apple and android technology.

Free online resources

There are also many free online resources providing a wealth or guidance, advice, free ID guides and activity ideas including:

Wildlife Watch – lots of free resources and ID guides

National Trust – free curriculum linked resources

Opal – lots of free resources and citizen science projects


Updated March 2021.