Forest School

(c) Plumb Images

Forest School sessions give children from a range of ages the space and freedom to explore, learn and discover nature.

These sessions are vital in improving the confidence of young people, allowing them the opportunity to discover their own skills and ultimately enabling them to learn in a way that suits them. 

Forest school is a brilliant way of empowering children and bringing nature into the heart of those children who may not otherwise experience it. To find out more about the benefits of this programme, you can hear from our Vice President Nick Baker  and from Cheryl, Communications support Officer, who have visited forest school projects funded by the players of  People's Postcode Lottery

Trusts offer these sessions in a variety of ways, from sending Education Officers to areas around your school, or by providing a dedicated area within a nature reserve to deliver the sessions.

So what exactly is Forest School? 

A Forest School is a specialised learning process that provides regular opportunities for children to achieve and develop confidence through real life experiences in a natural environment. It does not necessarily have to be in a forest (although a lot are), but should be immersed in any natural environment setting, including beaches. Importantly it includes a series of regular outdoor sessions (usually over a 6-10 week period) that is tailored to the individual needs of the children (usually a max 15 people per session).

Sessions are designed to stimulate imagination, creativity and investigation via activities shuch as woodwork using tools, shelter building and Natural Art. As weeks progress the children are given more freedom and responsibility to explore their interests and initiate and direct their own learning. This enables participants to connect with nature, experience the seasons and see how the Forest School sites change over time. 

Want to know if your local Wildlife Trust offers these sessions?

These sessions are held by a variety of Trusts. To see what your local Wildlife Trust offers,  have a look at our map .

Some Wildlife Trusts who offer forest school sessions include:

Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust
Essex Wildlife Trust
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust
Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Northumberland Wildlife Trust
Devon Wildlife Trust
Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Surrey Wildlife Trust
Sussex Wildlife Trust
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust
Avon Wildlife Trust
London Wildlife Trust
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

This wonderful video from Lancashire Wildlife Trust really explores the benefit children receive from involvement in a forest school.

This project and video was funded by the players of People's Poscode Lottery!

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