Forest Schools

Den building, crafts and campfires

Hope Forest School, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust 

Perfect for 4 - 15 year olds

Campfires, making musical instruments from sticks, building imaginative dens with friends, playing Hide and Seek, are all part of the magical charm of Forest School.

Research has shown just how much children can benefit from learning and playing outdoors in terms of developing self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience.

We run monthly Family Forest School sessions at Millfield’s Wood near Carsington Water.

Our sessions have even featured in The Times list of top ten things for families to do at weekends!

I've heard of them but what are Forest Schools?

Forest schools is about exploring and experiencing the natural environment through practical activities within a secure woodland area. The outdoor sessions take place in all but the worst weathers with small groups (typically 12 children or less) over a series of 6-10 sessions. This regular contact helps leaders as well as the learners to better understand what learners are capable of and where their personal interests lie.

Research carried out in recent years has shown just how much children benefit from spending more time outdoors and within nature. Working together in the outdoor learning environment allows children to develop self-esteem, learn to work as a team and develop an awareness of their own emotional needs as well as those of others.

Children learn through play outdoors and gain confidence and self-esteem as they gain new skills and learn to understand their own abilities better. They learn to be creative and to solve problems both as individuals and as a team member.

Outdoor activities teach children to manage their own risks. Exposing them to the wild but controlled Forest School environment gives them the opportunity to learn how to make well informed and sensible decisions when faced with new challenging situations in real life.

Time outdoors in a woodland environment not only increases their physical health and wellbeing but also their emotional health. It encourages children to take healthy lifestyle decisions and to be sympathetic to the environment around them.

At the end of the last session, none of us wanted to leave - the children were having a great time playing in the trees and we were just savouring the peace and tranquillity of the outside space.
Jane, Henry's mum

Come along and have some fun...

Natural progression...

Too old for Forest Schools? Fear not, you are not to old to learn! Come and take part in some of our training sessions. Or is your little one too young for Forest Schools just yet? Come along to Nature Tots instead!

We can't wait to meet you! 

Training for grown ups

Learn more

Examining a noctule bat wing at Spring wood, Steve Roe

Nature Tots

Learn more

Nature Tots, Carsington Water, Diane Davison, Senior Specialist, External Affairs, Toyota Motor Manufacturing 

Children are happier and healthier when they're closer to nature.* The Wildlife Trusts have been helping children to experience and learn about the natural world for more than 50 years.
The Wildlife Trusts

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Inspiring people 

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Let's have some fun together!