Forest School


Forest School

Helping children grow in confidence through outdoor learning

Molly Toal

What is Forest School?

Forest School is a child-led, play-based ethos that offers children regular opportunities to succeed, improve self-esteem and develop as a person through hands-on learning in a natural setting.

Sessions help to stimulate creativity, build confidence and enable children to learn new skills via activities such as shelter-building, green wood-working, natural art and fire-lighting. Over a number of weeks, children are given the chance to play and explore their own interests, enabling them to direct their learning and develop a relationship with nature.

The education team at The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside has been championing the Forest School movement in the North West since 2009. 

Watch the video below and discover the impact Forest School has had on the children and teachers we have worked with in Manchester.

The children have really loved exploring the outside environment. The hands-on approach has really allowed children to experiment and enjoy learning without even realising.
St Mary's C.E. Primary School, Manchester
Forest School Brockholes trip

Our Forest School services

Our experienced team can help you in all stages of your Forest School journey. We offer:

  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Forest School delivery programmes and Taster Days at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston and The Hive at Moss Bank Park in Bolton for educational facilities and home education groups.
  • Delivery programmes and Taster Days in educational facilities with suitable grounds.
  • School ground improvements to create sites suitable for Forest School. Click here for more information.
  • Family Taster Days during school holidays.
  • Forest School level 3 and level 2 courses and Adult Taster Days. Visit our dedicated page for more information.
Forest School PPL

Forest School across Liverpool and Manchester

We also run a Forest School project in Manchester and Liverpool, delivering free sessions and training in education facilities in each city across the calendar year, thanks to support from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

To find out more about our Forest School project in Manchester click here, or for Liverpool click here.

At first, the children's self-esteem is low and they ask if it’s okay to do something before trying anything but after six sessions of Forest School the children’s confidence has developed so much, it’s amazing. The pupils who haven’t tried Forest School yet are all desperate to join in now.
Chris Bowcock
Teacher, Our Lady Immaculate Primary School, Liverpool

Want to know if Forest School will suit your setting? Our team offer bespoke taster sessions your learners will love

Discover for yourself how Forest School supports children of all abilities to learn in the great outdoors. We offer fun Forest School experienced day for children at our beautiful wetland nature reserve at Brockholes in Preston, or, depending on site suitability, we can come to you (mileage costs will apply). Full day and half day courses are available.

Click here for more information on taster sessions

Manchester Forest School PPL

Costs: £500 (+VAT) for a full day (up to 6 hours) or £360 (+VAT) for a half day (up to 3 hours).

Our enthusiastic and experienced team can deliver sessions on request for groups of up to 30 children with 2 of our practitioners. Children will experience specifically designed valuable and practical hands-on natural experiences in an outdoor environment. Activities will range from:

  • Safe fire building and campfire cooking 
  • Bushcraft skills using hand tools
  • Making shelters and woodland games
  • Learning about woodland plants and animals
  • Making environment art from clay and other natural materials

Please get in touch to arrange your preferred dates.

Please bring along:

  • A packed lunch
  • Sturdy footwear (walking boots or wellies)
  • Clothes appropriately for the weather - be prepared to spend the whole day in the woods

Refreshments (tea, coffee, juice and biscuits) are provided.

Get in touch

For more information about our Forest School sessions, training, volunteering opportunities and our other services, please contact:
T: 01772 872000

For more information about our Forest School Project in Liverpool and Manchester, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, please contact:
Katie Dearden, Senior Forest School Officer

Patricia McGlynn, Forest School Officer (Manchester)

What have we been up to at Forest School?

Rewilding children and adults across Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

Latest news

Keep up with our latest Forest School news, blogs and events, below.