Skip to main content

What is Forest School?

Set entirely outside among the woodland, a Forest School gives your child hands-on positive outdoor experiences. Here they’ll experience the changing seasons and grow to love nature, using adventure equipment that’s been thoughtfully designed to match every stage of their development.

Our Forest Schools don’t only give your child the opportunity to grow their own plants and vegetables, climb trees or play in the fresh air – though we love that they do! They teach problem-solving and co-operation, through engaging, motivating, challenging and achievable tasks. Working together, our activities will help to develop your child’s empathy, self-esteem and self-awareness.

Help your child develop their social skills, independence & creativity
Help your child develop their social skills, independence & creativity

What happens at our Forest Schools?

Imagination runs free outside among the trees! Your child might make dragon soup in the mud kitchen, or meet new friends at the fairy doors. They’ll engage directly with nature: listening to the birds, going on a bug hunt, or feeling the grass beneath their feet on a barefoot walk. Building dens is always fun – and so is gathering around the fire pit, where your child will learn how to be safe while enjoying hot chocolate and even cooking their own food.

Eight of our staff are qualified as Level 3 Forest School Leaders, and we’re training more all the time.



The Maples Forest School is in a wilderness area at Winterbourne House and Garden. This magical wild place is perfect for little explorers to get hands on in nature and collect 'treasures' to bring back to nursery. It's all supported by Forest School teachers as well as their regular practitioners, who direct activities inspired by the children's everyday questions, interests and needs.

Children at the Maples also tend their own allotment at Winterbourne, growing vegetables, conserving water, and discovering how the seasons affect the world around them, with the help of Winterbourne's gardeners. Indoors, the nursery provides free-flow access into a creative garden area, as well as indoor planting and a living ceiling.

The Oaks Day Nursery

At The Oaks, you’ll find our big Forest School directly behind the main nursery, with a special fire pit, an outdoor classroom, and a magical winding path over a troll bridge and into the trees. We work in close partnership with local schools on a charity-led pollination project, developing a wilderness area to give bees and butterflies the perfect natural habitat. You child will dig the earth, measure the results, and gain an understanding of their environment they will benefit from all their life.

Like The Elms, there are lots of opportunities to work one-to-one with staff, learning to safely handle a variety of tools and equipment.

Enquiring about a nursery place for your child is simple

Ask about a place for your child online today. It's a quick, easy process and you'll receive a response from us very soon.

Start your enquiry now