Forest school opens to allow children to explore natural world's magic
PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 22:09 16 March 2018
A forest school has opened in Chelvey, offering opportunities for woodland parties and sessions for schools.
At Play In The Woods is based in the pre-1800 Brickyard Wood and now provides children with an opportunity to learn about the natural world and take part in activities, including woodwork and cooking on an open fire.
Children also study flora and fauna and build shelters which develops both personal and social skills.
The school has been founded by Sam Harrison, who is qualified in forest skills and leadership.
Sam told the Times the forest school’s creation comes after almost a decade of work.
He said: “I have been working to launch my own forest school now for nine years.
“It was not until late last year that I befriended a local landowner who has given me permission to rent the most wonderful woodland from them.
“Having our own woodland enables us to deliver a unique programme of activities all year round.
“The participants take part in activities such as team building games and exercises.
“Everything from large scale den-building to individually making crowns – everything specially tailored for the age and capabilities of the group.”
At Play In The Woods will mainly work with schools and groups but families will also be able to book the site for private parties.
Sam added: “We allow everyone to grow and discover their abilities without fear of criticism or failure in a safe, encouraging and supportive environment.
“We aim to let children play with the freedom our grandparents did, to let children take managed risks and develop life skills.
“Everything we do helps to develop a healthy body and mind.
“Our goal is to provide a sense of adventure with fun and exciting activities to help discover the enjoyment of playing outdoors.
“It will generate a positive attitude in children and young people towards learning as they explore and experience the magic of the natural world for themselves.”
The company also runs an allotment in Clevedon to encourage families to garden together, and is looking at the possibility of taking on a nature reserve in Portishead.