Forest skills area built for school and families

Families using the new forest skills area at Nailsea and Backwell Children's Centre.

Families using the new forest skills area at Nailsea and Backwell Children's Centre. - Credit: Archant

Children can now enjoy forest skills and outdoor play sessions at Nailsea and Backwell Children’s Centre.

The centre, which is based at Kingshill Church School, had a large fenced-off area which was covered with brambles and unsafe to use.

Quotes to clear the area were too high, but Natalie Hawtin, children’s centre leader, decided to contact the Probation Service’s community payback to get a quote.

The Probation Service charged a nominal fee to cover expenses and spent three afternoons clearing the brambles and cutting back the trees.

Paths have been created through the space using bark chips and a fence has been put up in one corner to store den-making equipment.

The new play space can now be used by the school and families from the children’s centre for forest skills and exploratory play.

Natalie said: “As a result the whole area is now a much better space and plants previously stifled by the brambles are coming through.

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“This area will now be used during the children’s centre groups and the school plans to facilitate forest school for small groups of children.

“These new opportunities for play will allow children to learn about the natural environment, observe wildlife, and experience being outdoors in all weathers.”

Nailsea Community Trust has donated money to pay for waterproof body suits for the youngsters so they can play outside in all weathers.

The children’s centre team has attended forest skills training and a teacher from Kingshill is planning to gain a qualification in the subject so the area can be used to its full potential.