7-10 Forest To Farm

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs moving from rainforest to adjacent farmland in: Queensland and New South Wales; throughout Australia; and overseas.

All our programs are either tailored to support relevant units within the new curriculum, or as specifically requested by our clients.

What we provide

  • Award-winning educators/ facilitators
  • Itineraries and Flyers
  • Curriculum-based work-booklets
  • All relevant equipment (supplying up to 150x students per session)
  • Example assessment tasks
  • Transportation options (we provide quotes to utilise our own buses for every excursion and can purchase all relevant flights relating to your program where applicable)
  • Pre/Post Excursion Activities (usually a PPP)
  • Risk Assessment (location specific)
  • Variety of field-work locations (where available)
  • Accommodation options (we provide quotes to utilise the most affordable and most appropriate accommodation to suit your needs)
  • Catering options (we provide quotes to utilise our own in-house catering service for every excursion (where available) and/or catering through a third-party provider

Secondary School (Yr 7-10) Programs

Our Secondary School “Forest to Farm” programs have been developed for specific units of study within Geography, History and Agricultural Technology. Each can however be tailored to a school’s needs. The programs are great fun and involve observing firsthand a gradient of anthropogenic change within a natural environment (excursion). Students witness amazing sub-tropical or tropical rainforest and extensive farming systems based on the same volcanic soil. Through participation in our “Forest to Farm” excursion, students gain a basic understanding of how humans have altered natural environments to create a monoculture conducive to crops and grazing.  This program is delivered by passionate facilitators with specialist knowledge on the local geography. The experiences can be delivered to complement the following units or modules:


  • Year 7 Place and Liveability
  • Year 8 Changing Nations (QLD/VIC) or Changing Places (NSW)
  • Year 9 Geographies of Interconnections (QLD/VIC) or Interconnections (NSW)
  • Year 9 Biomes and Food Security (QLD/VIC) or Sustainable Biomes (NSW)
  • Year 10 Environmental Change and Management
  • Year 10 Geographies of Human Wellbeing (QLD/VIC) or Human Wellbeing (NSW)


  • Year 9 Making a Better World? (QLD) or The Modern World (NSW)

Agricultural Technology (NSW)

  • Years 7-10 Agricultural Systems and Management

Trip Overview

As our population increases, so too does demand for housing and related infrastructure. To make space for these new developments, important forest biomes are often cut away. Our “Forest to Farm” excursion is a structured (work-booklet based) investigation of the effects of this largescale environmental change on local ecology. Students will learn about the history of land cover transformations at a chosen destination and the environmental management principles that could ensure sustainability in future decision making. If you are seeking a different approach to your “Forest to Farm” study, we can design a program that is suitable for you.


  • Bushwalking through amazing sub-tropical or tropical rainforest!
  • Speaking with rangers from the National Park
  • Awesome farm tour with commentary
  • Speaking to 4th or 5th generation farmers with specialized knowledge on the local history
  • Tasting local produce!
  • Using spatial data to investigate largescale environmental change!
  • Field work comparing forest and farm sites (transect and quadrat studies)

More Information



  • Guided walk through a rainforest ecosystem with discussions of bush tucker, timber and other natural resources.
  • Visit sections of rainforest that have been disturbed by natural processes (e.g. storm damage)
  • Drive with commentary along a mountain ridge, where the transition between forest and farm is clearly visible.
  • Tour of 1-2 family farm/s. Students will have the opportunity to interview a farmer whose family has watched the land be developed around them for decades.
  • Field sketch of study site (view of a farming region and surrounding rainforest)
  • Quadrat investigation comparing the biodiversity of a rainforest ecosystem with the monoculture extant at nearby farm sites.
  • Quadrat investigation comparing physical factors (such as ground cover, wind velocity, etc.) between rainforest and farm sites.
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness of how humans have reshaped a natural environment to create a built environment
  • Assessment of the difference in biodiversity and other measures of ecosystem health between an undisturbed biome and a biome that has been modified to support crop growth or grazing.
  • Knowledge of environmental issues that have arisen as a result of farming practices including pollution, introduction of invasive species, death of pollinator species, erosion and loss of biodiversity
  • Learning of sustainable farming practices that can be used to minimise these issues
  • An understanding of environmental management principles that should be considered when clear cutting forest for development
  • A good handle on spatial data and its use in investigating largescale environmental change
  • A connection to and sense of stewardship towards Australia’s natural environment
  • Great experience planning and conducting scientific field studies!

Below is an example itinerary for a 1-day “Forest to Farm” excursion. All excursions packages include the necessary work booklets and equipment.

08:30 Tour group pick- Second Nature have a fleet of vehicles available to cater for any number of passengers (within reason). We can provide transport to and from schools and airports
09:30 Arrive at Rainforest Site for Field Work Session 1 This activity will take the form of a quadrat investigation comparing the biodiversity (Simpson’s Biodiversity Index) and physical properties (e.g. ground cover or wind velocity) between two rainforest sites. Each student group will set up a quadrat in an undisturbed section of rainforest. They will also have the chance to lay a second quadrat in a section of rainforest that has been disturbed by a natural hazard (for example, a cyclone). Morning tea will be enjoyed between quadrats.
12:00 Lunch at Rainforest Site Great areas to relax and enjoy the scenery!
12:30 Activity Session 1 Interview with a National Park ranger and a representative of the local Indigenous people. These interviewees will give fascinating insights into the use of natural resources from the rainforest in the past and in the present.
13:15 Depart Rainforest Site for a Lookout
13:45 Arrive at the Lookout for Activity Session 2 Presentation on the geography of the local region. During this activity, your guides will explain how natural processes such as volcanism and the water cycle have contributed to the unique geography of the region, making it ideal for both rainforest and farmland. A field sketch where both rainforest and farm sites are visible will be possible at this location.
14:15 Depart Lookout for Farm Site
14:30 Arrive at Farm Site for Field Work Session 2 A third quadrat will be added to the quadrat investigation. During this field work session, student groups will be directed to a paddock where rainforest was once cleared for the farmland that now subsists. Here, they will measure biodiversity and physical properties as they did in Field Work Session 1. The comparison of undisturbed and disturbed (both by natural and human activity) quadrats will later form the basis of assessable field reports.
15:30 Activity Session 3 Interview with a farmer. Many farmers represent the fourth of fifth generation to work the land on which they are situated. This means their family has witnessed decades of changes within the same region of rainforest and farmland. These presenters have specialised knowledge on the local history and can skilfully recount a timeline of land cover transformations for the students.
16:00 Depart Farm Site, back to School or Airport
17:00 Return School or Airport at desired time