Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Autumn is abundant with the cold, crisp, clear days mixed with moody skies and stunning sunsets. Children collecting conkers on the way to school, spiders making their way indoors! The stags are getting into the swing of the autumn rut, there is nothing like it, sitting and listening to their roar echoing through the valleys. There is much foraging to do, and making an array of soups, chutneys, crumbles with the rewards. Enjoy these special autumn days. 

Forthcoming events;
  • Half Term Playschemes - are you organised for the October half term in two weeks? We have lots of exciting activities linned up for your children.
  • Treetots - new Thursday sessions and half term adventures for the under 8's.
  • Woodland Weekenders Club - NEW
See the Woodland Calendar for more details.

If you have a requirement for a bespoke event such as Birthday Parties (children & adults), Inset Training Days, School trips, Wild Camping....contact us
As always do keep an eye on the Woodland Calendar and Facebook pages for additional updates.

Woodland Playscheme ~ October Half Term
Woodland Playschemes are a time for adventure, fun, exploration....and loads more!
Times: 1000 - 1600hrs ~ Early Bird from 0900 and Night Owl until 1700hrs •

~ Monday 28th: Surfing - in North Devon, last chance before the spring. (note: could be a longer day & for over 8's only)
~ Tuesday 29th: Creating & Constructing
~ Wednesday 30th: Witches & Wizards...Wands & Brooms
~ Thursday 31st: Pumpkin Carving, Apple bobbing & Pumpkin Soup
~ Friday 1st November: Autumnal creativeness

Book your place online today!

Treetots - NEW days
Monday 28th October
Due to demand...Treetots are having an extra spooky half term adventure on Monday 28th October for treetotters and families - siblings welcome. Let us know if you can come by booking via the link below. Same times and price - 10am to 12noon, £7.50 per family. Bring a packed lunch, stay and play until 1pm.

Thursday 21st November and 12th December
Treetots is a popular toddler group in the woods. We run every Monday during the term time, with additional holiday days. Following requests we are pleased to be running a Thursday morning Treetots on November 21st and December 12th. If these two days prove to be successful we will be running Treetots on a Monday AND Thursday from January 2014 onwards.

As always we need to know who is coming, so to ensure you have a place make sure you book online here

Click for more information

Woodland Weekenders Club 
Saturday 14th December
We have been asked to run a monthly Saturday Club in the woods for families.  So thought we would start with a festive session on December 14th. The club is open to all families with children of any age. There will be a mixture of activities that can engage toddlers to teenagers and adults.
Times: 10am - 12noon
Costs: £10.00 per family
Book online here

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

New thoughts...New website and New projects!!

A New Year and so many New things to tell you about!

I find that December and January are generally quieter times in the woods, so is a great time to get focused and re-energised for the emerging year. We carry out many woodland management tasks with and without groups.

In the last few days many new things have come to the fore, I will tell you about them...briefly!!

* The NEW website, this was first talked about 2 years ago I am ashamed to say. But they say all good things come to those that wait. The reason it has taken so long is because I love playing in the woods and not in front the computer, amongst other things!! I am thrilled with what we have and already and looking at ways to elaborate and expand it in the coming years. I am hoping that it will be so much easier to navigate and find, book events you require! I welcome any feedback so please do not hesitate in contacting me. There are numerous people that were involved behind the scenes in terms of the designer, graphic input, critical readers and writers etc....I owe lots of wine and dinners to many friends!! I hope you all enjoy the new site, same address www.woodlandplaycentre.co.uk 

* A NEW group that is setting down roots in the woods called TreeTots. A toddler group in the woods for children aged 5 years and under. A friend (Forest School leader & Playworker) and myself have talked it over and decided to give it a go and within an hour of setting the dedicated FB page it recieved over 80 'likes'. Over whelming start considering it is not due to start until March! More details to follow soon but we are registering peoples interest now. Details on the NEW website...did I mention there is a new website!!

* Generally NEW projects and ideas are emerging all the time and there seems to be a flurry of them now. We have new packages for schoools to visit us that link into current curriculum topics. A friend (speech and drama teacher) and I are spending a lot of time trialing days based around certain topics...such as a Gruffalo Day, Traditional Tales and many more!

* We are developing more scope to cater for adult functions in the woods and have a wonderful team of professionals ready to be involved.

I need to go and look at the NEW website again...it is like a new toy! As always thank you all for your continued support in allowing us to develop and grow.

A belated Happy New Year to you all and here is to a fun filled, energised and dry year!!


Monday, 5 November 2012

You can see what we have been up to in the woods!

There are so many adventures to tell you about that occur in the woods, so instead of words here is a picture board of some of the adventures....so you can make your own words up!

Take a look at our new Gallery https://plus.google.com/photos/118293394270636437258/albums/5344286862459647793 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Are you a budding photographer?!

Are there any budding photographers in your home, school or club?! 

If so, they might be interested to enter a photography competition held by Somerset Wildlife Trust.

Photos should be of wildlife in a natural setting. All entries will be displayed on their website.

For more information, check out the website:

Perhaps join us at one of the days in the woods over October Half Term (see previous post) and we can help you take some brilliant photos to enter there?

Monday, 8 October 2012

Autumn News

Dear Woodland Friends,

With only 3 weeks until October Half Term, I thought it was time I reminded you all what will be happening in the woods!! This is my favorite time of year without a doubt, although drizzly today the weekend just past was a perfect autumn weather, cold, crisp and blue sky! I love the autumn smells, I love the colour of the leaves turning, I love listening for the stags rutting....what do you love about the autumn?

Woodland Playschemes
The Woodland Playschemes are for children ages 8 years and over. Occasionally under 8’s can attend to please speak to me if you request this service. Unless it states otherwise they must be booked in advance and are all;

TIMES: 1000 – 1600hrs
COST: £20 per child, per day.

You can book one day at a time or as many as you like. Why not consider it a childcare option whilst you work, shop or play? There is the option of EARLY BIRD
and NIGHT OWL, where children can be dropped off from 0900hrs and collected anytime up to 1700hrs. This option is an additional £5.00 each, per child, per day.

Half Term (Oct)
Wednesday 31st October           Carving and Cooking
Thursday 1st November            
Lanterns and Crunchy Crafts
Friday 2nd November                 Fire play – without matches! (opportunity for a 'slash and burn' day all welcome)

* * * * * * * * * *
Learn how to use a Ring Kiln to make Charcoal

Sunday 11th November 2012

Join us at Hensons Wood near Rackenford for a day of charcoal burning.

We will guide you through the stages of the operation:
* Loading the Kiln
* Lighting the fire
* Grading the Charcoal

We will provide details of marketing, packaging and the ethics of producing British
charcoal compared to imported.

On site there will be a display of charcoal and information highlighting its various uses

Instructors:       Pete and Anna from the Bulworthy Project
Venue:              Hensons Wood, Rackenford, Devon
Time                 1000 – 1600hrs
Refreshments:  Tea/Coffee & Light Lunch provided
Cost:                 £40 to non-members or £25 to members
Contact:            Woodland Coordinator
                          Louise Kennedy

Contact Details: woodlands@fwagsw.org.uk
                          01823 355427 / 07775 941353

Booking is essential

* * * * * * * * * *
Coastal Fitness Weekend for Adults

A brilliant weekend is up for grabs to stay in a beautiful location in North Devon, with a programme of fitness activities and all in a stunning and relaxing retreat. In my eyes a great mix of coastal sea air, active fun and the opportunity to stay at Pickwell Manor.

To find out more check out this page http://www.activeescape.co.uk/weekend-breaks/coastal-fitness.pdf

So they say a change is as good as a rest, so what are you waiting for.....

Ideal for an active weekend break in stunning surroundings!

* * * * * * * * * *

ON SATURDAY 20th October
Opens at 10a.m.
Finishing at 4.30p.m
CRAFTS & other stalls

Still time to take a stall -£10
Please apply to Carole Darke QECO Treasurer
Full details & booking form will be sent to you.

* * * * * * * * * *

Any adults up for a fitness weekend...

A brilliant weekend is up for grabs to stay in a beautiful location in North Devon, with a programme of fitness activities and all in a stunning and relaxing retreat. In my eyes a great mix of coastal sea air, active fun and the opportunity to stay at Pickwell Manor.

To find out more check out this page http://www.activeescape.co.uk/weekend-breaks/coastal-fitness.pdf

So they say a change is as good as a rest, so what are you waiting for.....

Ideal for an active weekend break in stunning surroundings!

October Half Term
Woodland Playscheme on Wednesday 31st, Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd October.
For some spooky fun, carving and cooking!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Bushcraft course for forest school practitioners

Dear All,

This month I am very excited to be telling you about a forthcoming course for adults, it is a brilliant course delivered by two extremely knowledgeable, kind and enthusiastic tutors. If you are not a Forest School Practitioner and are interested in the course please contact Maggie to discuss.

Also....I will be reflecting on the summer of adventures and playschemes in the next blog http://woodlandplaycentre.blogspot.co.uk/ 
as well as posting some fabulous photos to show you what we have been up to. In the blog I will post the information for the OCTOBER HALF TERM Playscheme that will take place on Wednesday 31st October, Thursday 1st November and Friday 2nd November. As always bookings can be made now. So take a look at the blog....the new look for the website is due to come to your screen almost any day now, so do keep your eye open for that as well  http://www.woodlandplaycentre.co.uk/

Playful wishes Louise


Come along and join us for two days of practical activities and personal development aimed at providing Forest School Leaders with basic Bushcraft skills and knowledge. Go away at the end of the course with a host of ideas and activities to incorporate into woodland sessions, plus your own flint and steel fire lighting kit in a leather “goody” bag you will have made!

The course will cover:
·        Games for introducing plant/tree identification and their Bushcraft uses.
·        Games for introducing a structure to a Bushcraft Day.
·        Safe tool use and how to maintain tools.
·        Fire lighting methods using sparks (by flint and steel, fire steel) electrical, solar and friction.
·        How to organise a team Fire-by-Friction set to achieve fire. Very useful when dealing with a younger age group.
·        Fire construction, maintenance with different fire lays and safe fire disposal.
·        Making char cloth
·        Brief look at the history of fire lighting.
·        Safe natural shelter construction.
·        Take part in the “Model Shelter Challenge”
·        Knots for use with tarps and for lashings.
·        Cordage preparation (natural materials depending on location/season).
·        How to construct 2-ply cordage and join in to extend cordage.
·        Water filtering and purification.
·        Crafts:  use of cordage to make leather bound books and a bag to hold flint/steel kit; simple predator call device made from natural materials; Apache Throwing star for hunting game; feather stick for fire lighting and additional craft ideas.

Previous course participants said:
“ thank you both again for the Bushcraft course at the weekend. You shared your knowledge and skills so generously with us. I still cannot get over how much care, attention and time you so obviously put into the preparation. I have not only come away with a leather fire-making pouch, but a huge host of great ideas for games and activities I’ll use to develop my practice as a Forest School leader”

“ thank you both for a really fantastic weekend. I am busy recreating all the exercises and activities to use with a Forest School group - we are then going to practice everything on unsuspecting kids at the camp this weekend. You are both so inspirational and patient. I think I went into overdrive at the end!”

Course date:  15 – 16 September 2012
Cost:                £130 per person
Location:         Woodland Play Centre, Crowcombe, Somerset
Start/Finish time (both days): 9.00 am – 4.30 pm.

Please bring a packed lunch and a mug. Hot/cold drinks/biscuits provided.
The course leader is George Yeomans, a qualified Teacher, Bushcraft Instructor and Forest School Leader.
For more information or to book a place contact:
Mountain & Bushcraft Ways   www.guidingonskye.co.uk   e-mail: gyeomans2@aol.com  Tel: 01478 650380


Please contact Louise for more information on 07775 941353 or email info@woodlandplaycentre.co.uk
Many thanks