Spring Time in the Forest

A time for adaptation and growth.


Firstly the weather is neither reliably wet nor reliably dry and the landscape of our setting changes radically depending this. In the warm sunshine we are challenged by harder ground under foot and spend time tending to the juvenile plants we are cultivating . When the rain comes it falls fast and heavy therefore we have been working together to create permanent shelters in which to take respite from the down pours.
I was reminded today of the unshakeable positivity and resilience of our Inspirations children during another heavy rainfall in the woods. Our group happily hid under tarpaulin sheets and sang nursery rhymes before running down newly made streams and of course jumping in every muddy puddle.

“The stream is following us.”

Our adventures into Hunger Hills Woods continue to inspire us all and recently we have discovered a new favourite hide out. In our “fairy tree” a local toy shop has installed a skateboard swing which the children love to play on. The surrounding area is equally awe-inspiring with an existing ‘twig-wam’, a large fallen Rowan tree and a stunning new growth of Beech trees which, since coming into leaf provide a wash of yellow and green light across the glade.
Children have led several enquiries in this beautiful area of the woods, firstly sky gazing through the canopy and spotting different leaf shapes. Then we found a way to measure the circumference of the large Beech (Fairy Tree) and discovered that it is over 120 years old! As well of lots of free and imaginative play, the children also develop their bushcraft skills here, tying up a well loved hammock and creating hides and shelters with tarpaulins and camouflage netting.
Inspired by the ever changing scenery of the woods; watching daffodils, snowdrops and bluebells bloom, we began a project of re-wilding our on-site Forest School setting and are planting as much as we can. The children’s passion for plants and gardening has bloomed and our boarders are now bursting with sweet peas, strawberries and tomato plants. Plans are in place for growing potatoes, creating a willow tunnel and planting several fruit trees.
We continue to cultivate a community of independent, inquisitive and intrepid learners, building a deep connection with the natural world and all of its inhabitants – a real privilege and a joy.
– Rachel D