Coventry Forest School
Coventry City Council Early Years and Childcare department have been supporting Forest Schools development and provision in the city since 2007 when they became involved in a partnership project with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Warwickshire County Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to bid for Heritage Lottery Funds to employ a Forest School Coordinator and train educational professionals from across the city to become Forest School Leaders.
The project has been a huge success. Forest Schools can be found in a range of locations, schools and settings across the city and has bloomed from its Early Year’s start to reach primary aged children, after school and summer club provision, Young Dad’s groups, youth groups and refugee groups.
At date of writing (26-8-09) there are 20 Forest School Leaders in Coventry, with another 11 booked onto courses in Autumn 09. These leaders are working with an estimated 1,400 children per year, and numbers can only grow from there.
Solihull Forest School
Forest school in Solihull was just an idea to create a classroom in the outdoors. The idea has grown into the thriving Forest Schools programme we have in Solihull today.
At present Solihull Forest Schools are based with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and are working with over 40 % of all Primary Schools in the borough on a regular basis. There have now been over twenty primary school teachers and teaching assistants trained to become Forest School leaders running regular Forest School sessions at their schools.
This training has been achieved via a partnership project with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Solihull Forest Schools ethos statement:
Our aim is that forest Schools will be available across the borough so that all children, sometime in their school life will have the opportunity to experience ‘the outdoor classroom’.
Warwickshire Forest School
The story in Warwickshire.
A partnership between Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Warwickshire County Council in 2004 sparked a Forest School Pilot in parts of Rugby and Central Warwickshire. Schools and setting across the region were invited to train to become Forest School Leaders and deliver Forest School sessions to the children in one of the newly created Forest School Hub sites located across the county. The project was a success and more and more people wanted to access the training.
Forest School Leaders, realising that they could run Forest School sessions in a variety of landscapes started to set up Forest School sites in their own school grounds or their local woodlands.
This proved more sustainable then bussing children to and from central locations and made the Forest School Leaders Qualification much more accessible to all.
In 2007 Forest School was given an even bigger push to the forefront thanks to a partnership project between Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and local councils which secured a grant of £327,000 from HLF to employ Forest School Co-ordinators for each local authority area and train even more people to become Forest School Leaders. To date this project has been a huge success. By the end of the three years over 90 new Forest School leaders will have been trained to work with local schools, setting and other educational establishments.
Today Warwickshire has 63 trained leaders in setting across the region. Approximately 1500 children participate in Forest School session throughout the year. In total, 17 Early Years Settings, 19 Primary Schools, 2 Ranger Services and the organisation, Positive About Young People all have Forest School Leaders and with Forest School training set to be around a while longer that figure is sure to grow.
Baggeridge Country Park, South Staffordshire
Baggeridge Country Park is a beautiful area of countryside on the doorstep of the Black Country. Being set back from the roads, its secluded delights are revealed to you as you explore further. The creation of today’s scenery however, is very diverse.
Formerly the Baggeridge Colliery and part of the original Himley Estate of the Earls of Dudley, the site has been transformed into 150 acres of attractive country park. Baggeridge Country Park provides an ideal setting for those looking for wildlife and those wishing to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. The park has numerous facilities for outdoor pursuits
Coombe Abbey Country Park, Coventry
Coombe is an award winning site with many accolades for it’s quality and excellence in management, conservation, visitor experience and education including SSSI status for 40 years, Green Flag (parks and green spaces excellence award), Visit England’s VAQAS award (a sign of quality assured visitor attraction) and Natural England’s Country Park accreditation.
It offers 500 acres of beautiful gardens, woodland, lakeside walks, and bird watching. The diverse landscape makes it ideal for everyone, from families to wildlife enthusiasts and those just looking for a quiet stroll in the woodland. There’s plenty to for all the family. Link
Christ Church Primary School Woodland, Walsall
At the centre of the community, Christ Church Primary School
Daventry Country Park, Daventry, Northamptonshire
Daventry Country Park is a popular park ideally situated in the urban fringe of Daventry within 1 mile of the town centre, easily accessible by car, bicycle or on foot with the benefit of cycle ways and footpaths from the surrounding areas. Daventry Country Park has been awarded the Country Parks Accreditation and the Green Flag Award proving that the Park is recognised as one of the best green spaces in the country and deliver the core facilities and services expected of Country Parks. Link
Ferry Meadows, Nene Park, Peterborough
Imagine somewhere beautiful, safe and unspoilt where you can walk, cycle, play, horse-ride, ride a train, go fishing, exercise the dog, jog, push the buggy and explore endless meadows, lakes and woodland – all less than three miles from Peterborough’s busy city centre.
You’ll find all this and more – including cafes, hard-surfaced routes for wheelchair users, a busy events and activity programme and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Link