This paper demonstrates the positive impact of learning through ecological fieldwork upon children's ability to write, and to write about science. Specifically we have carried out a relatively large-scale study (involving 379 children aged 9–11 years from 8 primary schools in North East England) comparing intervention classes (involved in fieldwork) and comparison classes (no fieldwork). Pre-intervention assessments revealed no differences between classes in mean literacy scores; post-intervention assessments revealed that significantly higher literacy scores were achieved by children who had carried out fieldwork (girls consistently outperformed boys in all classes). Intervention class children achieved higher scores in science (ecology) assessments than their comparison class peers before and after the intervention. We suggest that this may be an effect of these children thinking as scientists throughout the project. Our work confirms that a child-centred outdoor learning experience focused upon science can result in learning benefits across the wider curriculum.