A DEDICATED team of foresters are bringing trees and the great outdoors to life for pupils across Cheshire.
Simon Harding, who owns and manages Broomheath Plantation near Tarvin, has helped to create a facility, known as a ‘forest school’.
After a long battle with local organisations to gain planning permission for a classroom and storage, Simon intends to help make his area of developing woodland, in Stapleford, a centre for outdoor education and learning.
At a recent Cheshire West and Chester Council playdays event, more than 1,000 pupils from across the county learned how to build dens, light fires, cook in the wild, use flint tools as well as how to conserve the local natural world.
The Broomheath facility is the first of its kind near Chester and is providing opportunities for primary schools in Tarvin, Tarporley, Duddon, Utkinton, Delamere, Kelsall, Calveley, Bunbury and Eaton as well as those in Chester and students at Tarporley High and the University of Chester.
Simon revealed that feedback from all schools has been positive and that his team are now offering educational opportunities to preschools.
He added: “We set up various activities and support infrastructure and then take a back seat as the carers lead their children through the activities which range from minibeast hunts to den and fire construction.
“Rather than remove risk we show the benefit of being exposed to it within HSE guidelines such that young children get a foundation to more successful decision making.”
Future plans include supporting Tarvin Community Woodland and the village’s environment group and well as forging links with Scouts and Guides. There will also be holiday clubs planned for October half-term.