The Outdoors Group is opening its first South Devon forest school at Broadhempston Community Woodland just outside Totnes.
Due to open on June 8, it will provide toddler clubs, home education sessions and holiday clubs for children aged 5 to 13 during school holidays.
The site is nestled in a defunct quarry with panoramic views over to Dartmoor. It has a beautiful, mixed woodland which is perfect for exploration, investigating flora and fauna and building dens. As with all the forest schools there are no buildings apart from compost toilets, with tarps providing cover for the all-important firepit, ideal for toasting marshmallows and heating the kettle for hot chocolate.
Forest Schools Manager, Nick Murphy says, “We’re really looking forward to opening the Totnes forest school - it’s an absolutely fantastic place for local children to enjoy. Our new site manager Sarah Webb has experience of working in these woods, and she’s really excited to start getting into the swing of things.
“Getting close to nature and enjoying good, old-fashioned fun is just so beneficial for children; outdoor play helps with their development, their ability to socialise and make friends. It’s also an ideal way to increase children’s appreciation of the environment from an early age.”
This is the fifth forest school for the group, which was set up in 2011 by three friends passionate about encouraging children to access the outdoors for play and education. With the four other sites in Exmouth, Okehampton, Ilfracombe and Exeter already going great guns, this latest location is bound to be popular.
The Totnes Forest School will also provide ad hoc sessions for The Outdoor Group’s Transitional Learning Programme (TLP), which supports children needing a little respite from the demands of mainstream education.