Hill End First World War Project

The Hill End Outdoor Centre was delighted to receive a National Lottery grant in 2018-19 for a project to help primary school children experience what it was like to be a soldier in the First World War.

The project allowed children to visit historic practice trenches dug in Wytham Woods by Oxfordshire soldiers before they went to fight in the First World War, and gain a unique perspective on trench warfare.

As part of the experience they recreated photographs taken during the First World War and crossed ‘no-mans land’ between the trenches. Using uniforms and props to make the experience as authentic as possible, this allowed the children to build empathy with those sent to fight in the War.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the project also enabled local schools and communities in Oxfordshire to research their own links with the soldiers who fought, and the families left behind.

The careful management of the trenches will continue and the project will provide a lasting legacy and teaching resource for both Hill End and Wytham Woods.

We would like to thank the University of Oxford Wytham Woods Estate, and the grant made possible by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund – First World War: Then and Now programme.