Forest school branching out

The outdoor classroom at Higher Walton Primary's new forest school
The outdoor classroom at Higher Walton Primary's new forest school
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A South Ribble primary school is celebrating the launch of its new Forest School by opening up the facility to counterparts across the area.

The Parent, Teacher and Friends Association at Higher Walton CE Primary received a massive £10,000 donation for the Family Forest Fun project.

Youngsters at work and play at Higher Walton Primary's forest school

Youngsters at work and play at Higher Walton Primary's forest school

A small group of enthusiastic supporters came up with a plan which will see the newly created outside area developed into a classroom with a difference.

However, they now need help to turn the facility, which is already taking shape, into reality to help teach new skills and encourage families to get outdoors and active together.

PTFA vice-chairman Laura Brown said a lot of the groundwork has already been done, including revamping a seating circle near a willow dome and building a removable canvas shelter so that outside learning can take place in all weathers. There is also a wildlife area and a pond.

Youngsters at the 112-pupil school are able to enjoy activities such as den building, planting, woodcrafting and outdoor cooking, to teach new skills and encourage families to get outdoors and active together and a management structure is being put in place to run it.

Staff have received expert training.

Laura said: “We’ve bought some resources and are going to be having support sessions to extend out skill base.

“But what we really need now is help from people with skills such as woodcraft or any natural based skills, who would be happy to do sessions for us.

“ We also need donations of plants, logs and trees for woodcarving and tools suitable for the children to use.”

Once fully up and running the Forest School will be made available to the general public and groups in the area for a host of different outdoor activities from willow crafting to planting.