FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

FSC 70th Anniversary

70th Logo

In 1943 FSC’s founders gathered at the Natural History Museum in London to realise a vision ‘to provide opportunities for school children to study living plants and animals in their natural environment’.  From that initial meeting the Council for the Promotion of Field Studies (now Field Studies Council) was born.

Where next for field studies and outdoor learning providers?

To celebrate 70 years of inspiring young people and the general public we brought together some of the UK’s foremost education and environmental organisations to forecast the future for the outdoor learning sector. Over 200 contributors have helped to identify 10 future priorities in Reaching into the Outside which was launched at a parliamentary reception on Wednesday 15th January 2014.

  M Gove 15.1.14 (1)  Ho C Audience 15.1.14 Speakers At Parliamentary Reception

Speaking at the launch Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education said

'I worry that our children are growing up without the opportunity to learn and to grow towards out of doors.  Whether …the opportunity to go on genuinely exciting fieldtrips, all of these are diminishing, partly because of health and safety culture, or partly because there are teachers who fear that one foot out of place and they’ll find themselves on the wrong end of litigation, finger wagging or criticism.'

He also stressed the importance of outdoor learning

'How can you know how this land was shaped and formed, and how choices that people made in the past determine the lives we live now, unless you’d had the chance to study geography and spend some time seeing how the natural world shaped the plan? I don’t believe that any of us can grow up properly in this country unless we’ve had the chance to feel and have communicated to us direct the passion for the natural world that the best teachers can bring.'

Click on the play button below to listen to the full speech or Click here to read more extracts from Mr Gove's speech or here to look at more photographs

 The signs of future success for outdoor environmental education published in Reaching into the Outside are:

  • Everybody does it
  • It happens everywhere
  • It happens everyday 
  • All schools and colleges use it
  • All communities take pride in it
  • It supports sustainable lifestyles
  • It leads to healthier lives
  • Parents worry less about it
  • Screen time supports it
  • We all work together at it

Download The Reaching into the Outside Report here

Background to Reaching into the Outside

We have aimed to encourage and support a reflection on how environmental charities like us can best meet the outdoor learning needs of young people, their families and the wider community over the coming decades. This has included 

RSA debateFSC and RSA held a wide–ranging debate Reaching into the Outside on November 5, 2013 with a panel and audience discussion chaired by Matthew Taylor, RSA's Chief Executive

 To watch the event go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5sq_2uFINQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUvhsiQGy_zcNCiSbeXEjhLg


The FSC founders meeting - revisited

NHM-meetingOn December  10, 2013 representatives from the founding organisations of FSC met at the Natural History Museum.  The original meeting held here 70 years ago on 10th December 1943 led to the creation of the Council for the Promotion of Field Studies (now Field Studies Council).

This gathering was held to reflect on changes in the last 70 years and, more importantly, to think about the future of outdoor learning and FSC itself.  


 Look at more photos from these events


FSC Anniversary Events

Over the last year we have celebrated our anniversary with many different events for members, friends, schools and community groups. 

See some of the highlights (pdf)

FSC Memories

Have you a special FSC memory - a course, a person you met, a tutor , a FSC Centre? Has FSC played an important role in your life choices or interests?
We'd love to add your memories to our collection view or add a memory