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Den building in the forest

Primary Schools Organise ‘Family Den Build’ with Forestry Commission Support.


Four local Primary Schools have increased the links within their formal collaboration by working with local Forestry Commission staff and volunteers, to organise a family woodland skills and den building activity on Saturday 25th November at Sherwood Pines.


Most of the families offered the opportunity are members of the School’s Eco Clubs. Certainly a good proportion of the families had never taken part in this type of activity before.


Up to sixty people, children and adults alike worked with four Forestry Commission Rangers to learn how to safely cut down saplings that needed thinning out, using bow saws, pruning saws and loppers.


They then used these sections of tree to make the structure of a den, completed by foraging in the undergrowth for bracken, smaller trees and grass to create the covering for the den. Then it was time to make a fire for a warming drink. It was a cold day and this drink was very welcome.


The four schools are working closely in a formal collaboration called the Open Door Collaboration. This was one of the first events that has been organised to increase links between the schools, their children and families.


The idea came from a joint training event held in October for all the staff from the four schools. Staff are very keen to learn from each other and to replicate good ideas, from both within the classroom and outside it.


Getting children outside and learning in a safe way is part of way all four schools help the children particularly the youngest, to learn. The Forestry Commission have been very supportive of helping the school generate resources to use in outdoor learning.


Leanne Swain, Teacher and Eco Lead said “Working with the Forestry Commission has been brilliant. We have taken families to visit the woods before so we knew this was a great opportunity.


When the Forestry Commission offered a Saturday morning event we wanted to make sure more people got the chance to take part so offered it to all the schools in our collaboration. Families have had a go at activities today that they might not have tried before. Everyone had a marvellous time.”



Clare Harding Head at Asquith Primary School said “Working together within the collaboration has given us an ideal opportunity to work with the Forestry Commission again.