In previous years, the park’s Outdoor Learning Grant has funded trips for more than 4,000 pupils from 72 schools. This year, an estimated 70 per cent more schools will benefit, courtesy of discounted coach travel by National Express Transport Solutions.

The partnership will allow schools in southern England to take advantage of reduced rates of £295 during school hours, enabling visits to the park’s 100 plus attractions.

Now open for applications, the Outdoor Learning Grant invites teachers to apply for funds between £300 and £500 to cover travel costs. This reduces financial strain on both schools and parents.

The discounted travel offer from National Express is also available for schools that are unsuccessful in obtaining a grant.

National Express Transport Solutions, includes top UK bus and coach hire specialists such as Lucketts Travel, Mortons Travel, and Worthing Coaches.

These companies will provide transport as part of this unique collaboration with South Downs National Park.

The National Park Authority administers and funds the grants, with additional assistance from the South Downs National Park Trust, the official charity of the National Park.

Interested parties can access further information or apply for an Outdoor Learning Grant via the park’s official websites.

Amanda Elmes, learning, outreach and volunteer lead for the National Park, said: “This is an amazing partnership and will make a huge difference to how many schools we’re able to help and how many children can benefit from connecting with the South Downs.

“Learning about the natural world is such an important part of the curriculum and National Parks offer a fantastic resource for schools to engage with wildlife, landscape, culture and history.”

Jiten Desai, head of regional sales and commercial planning for National Express Transport Solutions, said: “As a leading school transportation specialist National Express Transport Solutions provides affordable, safe and reliable travel for school groups across the UK and we are delighted to have partnered with the South Downs National Park.”

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