The Council in partnership with Sure Start Hyndburn and The Prospects Foundation Windfall Fund are developing a Forest School area at Rothwell Heights part of Bullough Park in Accrington.
This project will bring this opportunity for outdoor learning and enjoyment close to neighbourhoods in the Ferngore and Scaitcliffe areas of Accrington. Children, young people, families and the wider community will be able to enjoy activities in their own local woodland.
Due to open this autumn, Sure Start have an enthusiastic team trained in Forest School ready to deliver sessions to families and schools. The team supports children to learn everything from building a habitat for mini beasts, to how to use tools and cook outdoors. Sarah Crackles, Forest School Leader, said it was all about capturing the natural curiosity of children and adults and increasing confidence and extending learning. She commented:
“Children think its brilliant, one child said to us ‘I loved all of Forest School – I felt like Bear Grylls!’ They’ve tried things they’ve never experienced before and learnt new skills by doing things in a hands on way. They work together to achieve really spectacular things, they just thrive in the woodland environment.”
Sarah said it was a great family activity adding: “It’s not just for the children, parents love it too, and they’ve made comments like ‘we’ve had so much fun together – it’s been ages since I’ve built a den I feel like a kid again!’ Sessions certainly leave families wanting more and Sure Start Hyndburn are planning to deliver regular sessions to meet the demand.
Cllr Ken Moss, Cabinet Member for Education, Leisure and Arts said: “I’m delighted that the Council is supporting these excellent community based activities which will bring so many benefits for local people. I know that when people have more contact with nature and enjoy beautiful outdoor spaces like these, it can literally change lives. I am especially pleased to bring this opportunity to a new area of the district and to encourage many young people to be involved.”