It was a boiling hot day in the middle of August, the sun was blazing and we’d been out in the paddling pool all morning. I was 8 years old, and I was starting to create my newest masterpiece of modern art. I was lying on the floor covering my self in the pet snails I had spent the day collecting. Patiently waiting for them to stop being shy and suck to my skin so that I could stand up and walk around with them attached to me like body jewellery.

“Forest School gives children this sense of freedom that modern society often constrains.”

Looking back- I have always loved bugs, creatures, nature, wilderness and animals. The endless hours I would spend in the rock pools hunting for crabs until my fingers were blue and nearly dropping off- even in North Wales, in November. The long days spent nursing baby birds back to life that my cats had delivered as presents into the kitchen door. The intense levels of patience required to catch baby frogs, grasshoppers, and slow worms. I once had a pregnant pet woodlouse and kept her in a box until she gave birth. My childhood was a wild one, and I was completely free.

Forest School gives children this sense of freedom that modern society often constrains. It lets them explore nature, build relationships and bonds with wildlife and helps them connect with living things and life in a way that TV screens, computer games and tablets will never be able to do.

Rediscovering Forest School as an adult, I am able to experience joy from the enjoyment and wonderment of the children around me. As they experience the woodland for sometimes the very first time in their lives. Observing them as they find a Solitary Bee quietly snoozing in a dead log, catch their first Crested Newt and follow Deer tracks in an adventure that could lead to anywhere.

Forest school is a transformational experience, leaving one with a sense of belonging and purpose within nature and the world around us.

Rowan – Administrator