Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Years Day walk

I hope that everyone has had a Merry Christmas and a festive time.

We are still planning on walking on the Quantocks tomorrow, meeting at Crowcombe Park Gate.....if anyone would like to join us please ring / text me today, as we may change the time and don't want people turning up and waiting around for us!

If we do not see you tomorrow, then may I personally take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy New Year and hope our paths cross in the near future....Tree Planting next on the calandar!

Best wishes


Monday, 19 December 2011

Somerset County Council Woodland Sell off

Hello All,

Apologies for hijacking the blog for this purpose but I wanted to let people know as soon as possible, in order for you to have an opinion.  

You may have heard about the proposal to sell off public land around Crowcombe hills?

It appears they may try to slip this in before Christmas, as the deadline for getting your opinion registered is FRIDAY 23RD DECEMBER 2011

Anyone wanting to raise this issue with their local council representative can find them here

The Quantock Eco group have objected to the proposal and information can be found on the following link

Have a read and see what you make of it…but do so by Friday! There is various information on the Woodland Facebook page too and links to other sites etc.

Many thanks Louise

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Festive day in the woods

A BIG thank you to everyone who came to the woods yesterday. I hope everyone had a wonderful afternoon. From thinking there would only be a handful of people to play, it was a busy afternoon with lots of buzzing, sizzling and cracking!

Ali and Linda did a superb job with the beautiful Christmas wreaths, stars and the glittered picture frame decorations! The wood today is full of even made Roo bark today! Thank you so much Linda and Ali for sharing your expertise....I am gutted that I did not get to have a go.....another time and certainly next year, we will certainly repeat the event, as was just so special to share a magical space with lovely people, some sparkle and magic fairy dust in the fire!!

Thank you also to all those that bought cakes....SO yummy....please come again!

Today, whilst i was having another big bonfire, burning all the cut rhododendron from yesterday i was thinking about and looking at the mud bath around the campfire. In the new year it will be time to move the camp in order to let the ground there rest. I am amazed that none of us slipped over in the dark last night!!

If anyone has photos from yesterday please post them here on the blog or facebook! Especially of your beautifully hand made wreaths and decorations!!

May i take this opportunity once again to wish you all a festive time and look forward to seeing many of you in the New Year.


Friday, 9 December 2011

Chrsitmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the olds mans hat!

It seems a while since a detailed Woodland update was posted. Here is the latest news from the woods and forthcoming events.


It is with great excitement that we are able to let you know (finally, as apologies for the short notice there has been a severe lack of internet connection recently) that we are having a Festive WILD ART session in the woods on Saturday 17th December 2011 1100 to 1300hrs 
Come and explore the wild woods, collecting lots of natural products as we go, then create Wild Art!! We are hoping to make hanging art works, and add a bit of Christmas sparkle to the woods!! We will also be lighting the fire, and toasting marshmallows, yum, yum!

Suitable for 1 yrs and up...bring an adult with you!
Wild Art Costs are £12 per child, £8 for the second child. Refreshments are provided. Why not bring a warming lunch and stay to play for a while.
MUST be booked in advance….just ring or email me.
Festive Fun & Wreath making workshop on SATURDAY 17th DECEMBER 2011 from 1400 to 1700hrs
SUITABLE FOR Children, families and adults.

This is an opportunity for those attending WILD ART to stay on and play and for everyone else to join us.  Throughout the afternoon there will be opportunities for children and adults to be shown how to make your own, natural Christmas Wreath (and take it home with you!), as well as making other festive and tree decorations.

There will be hot drinks and cakes throughout the afternoon for sale. Whilst it is FREE to attend we will be asking for donations to take part in the workshop.

As a big thank you to all that support the Woodland Play Centre, we would like invite you to stay in the woods as it starts to get dark, we will light the lanterns and we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and start the festive fun by having a glass of mulled wine and mince pie with us (you may also want to bring a torch!)

Please BOOK IN ADVANCE by letting us know, so we know roughly how many to cater for.

1100 Meet at Crowcombe Park Gate car park
A Winter Walk for all the family

Start the New Year with a winter walk on the Quantock Hills and walk off all the festive food! Refresh the soul with a gentle walk from Crowcombe Park Gate along the drove to Triscombe and down to the Blue Ball Inn. If coming with friends it maybe wise to consider parking one car at the Blue Ball so you can get a lift back to Crowcombe Park Gate, if not we can help with lifts as long as we know in advance! It is not a long walk, I am allowing 2 hours….unless we find anything really exciting on route! FREE apart from drinks at the Blue Ball!

Join us for a winter adventure and we will see what we can find and explore along the way…..let us know if you are coming by popping an email or ringing, so we know who to wait for at Crowcombe Park Gate!

  • Please lift-share where possible as parking is scarce.
  • Please park inside the gate (left gate as you turn in off the road) as tightly together as possible, but please DO NOT BLOCK or drive down the track – the woods are a CAR FREE ZONE.
  • If there is no space inside the gate, please ONLY PARK ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD NOT directly outside the gate or on the road at the entrance, as there has to be ACCESS TO THE WOODS FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES AT ALL TIMES. There are TWO GATES, neither gate must be blocked at any time, or should the roads.
  • There are PULL-INS up the lane opposite the gate to the woods, as well as on the road back down to Taunton – PLEASE USE THESE but do not block them or make it difficult for large traffic to pass.

Events maybe cancelled due to bad weather, so please keep an eye out for updates from me or check before heading out!


The recent months have been filled with planning and thinking for 2012! We are in the progress of re-developing the Woodland Play Centre website and that will be launched next year, it is exciting making all the changes and adding information. The aim is that whilst not at the top end of the all singing all dancing modern technology, it will be much easier to use, will be clearer, crisper with content, have up to date events and information and the ability to book online.

The most exciting news is that it is OFFICAL that the WOODLAND EXPLORERS CIC is now a fully incorporated Community Interest Company. It was decided to set up a CIC of which projects from the New Year will now be delivered through, the statement for incorporation has to declare that the company will carry out its activities for the benefit for the community, of which woodland projects do. This is really exciting as whilst the objectives have not changed, the legal structure in which the projects are delivered under reflect the objectives in terms of benefitting the community.

In the coming months, time will be spent on preparing for next year in the woods and making sure there are plenty of projects and events for you to engage in. There are hopefully some exciting projects in the pipeline, but if you, your friends, your school or group have a need for the woods or any particular project I would love to hear from you. As a reminder of what is currently offered;

  • WOODLAND PLAYSCHEMES – during school holidays (excluding Christmas) 1000 – 1600hrs, with early bird and night owl drop off options. For over 8’s and on request occasionally under 8’s. Perhaps you run a playscheme or project and want to come for a day or more to the woods?
  • WOODLAND PARTIES – all year round parties for children from 3 years and up (including adults!!), 3 hours of adventures, fire, mud and chaos….all facilitated by an environmental playworker! Tailored to individual requests.
  • WOODLAND ADVENTURES – for the younger adults….bit of surfing…coasteering….mountain biking with Active Escape. Can be built into a programme for your group, school if staying in the woods, can booked as a stand alone adventure or as a party…the choice is yours!
  • WOODLAND EDUCATIONAL DAYS – bring your class to the woods, whether pre-school, primary or secondary. Projects can be linked into certain curriculum areas, can support Forest School delivery. Come on West Somerset Railway to add to the adventure….just think Famous Five & the spook train! Projects tailored at your request!
  • WOODLAND TRAINING – for adults we can offer bespoke training as a one off, we specialise in outdoor play. Training can be in the woods or at your venue; workshops can be delivered at conference and network meetings. What about combining the Woodland Adventures with some environmental play for your company?! In the New Year we will be developing the suite of training but please do not hesitate to contact us if you require a day, evening or overnight in the woods.     

Wow….. THANK YOU for listening! That was a long message….I hope you made it to the end as one last thing…….I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thank you for supporting and opening your eyes in the woods this past year, hopefully next year more children young people and adults will have the opportunities to get close to nature, rekindle play outdoors and share some magical moments with us.

With very playful and festive wishes 

Louise & team!  


M 07775 941353

See our Woodland Calendar & Woodland Blog  for the latest information 
Be our Woodland Play friend on Facebook too

Monday, 28 November 2011

I LOVE Autumn....and forthcoming festivities!!

Saturday 17th December 2011 

Come and explore the wild woods, collecting lots of natural products as we go, then create Wild Art!! We are hoping to make hanging art works, and add a bit of Christmas sparkle to the woods!! We will also be lighting the fire, and toasting marshmallows, yum, yum!

Suitable for 1yrs and up...bring an adult with you!

We then invite you to stay in the woods after so bring your packed lunch, and there will be more Festive Frolics until it gets dark!

Wild Art Costs are £12 per child, £8 for the second child. Refreshments are provided.
Festive Frolics 2pm onwards FREE, contribution to refreshments & activities if taking part. More info to follow soon on the Festive Fun!

  I really do love this time of year...yesterday was just magic as i walked up to Hurley Beacon and beyond with some lovely friends, we took time to sit and swing in trees, stop to take stock of all the wildlife, splash in puddles and hide / sit in the crunchy leaves....I even tried a leaf angel!!


Friday, 11 November 2011

Crunchy and beautiful times!

Wow what a few months, so much has happened since the last posting here in 'blogville'. I was rather outrageous and planned a long time ago to have a trip away....I am now back from New Zealand having had the most wonderful month travelling the north and south island. I happened to coincide the trip with the rugby world cup (well was the main reason to start with!!)!! I can safely say that i was in utter awe with the country, the vast expanse of space and wilderness, the variety of wildlife and landscapes that left me tears. Tears of joy and shear amazement that put everything in perspective and are a sharp reminder of the fact that we are so small in the world and nature really is truely an empowering, humbeling, scary and utterly beautiful thing. I appreciate it, but did not think it was possible to feel it even more. I also met some amazing people who were so friendly and hospitable, including a lady called Chrissy at Earth and Sky at Lake Tekapo who i must have stopped from doing any work all day, as we discussed in depth and in detail the vital importance of these wild spaces for children and how things even in New Zealand where there are only 4.4million people, compared to here in the UK with 65million, are changing and children do not have the same level of access to wild spaces as they did 30-50 years ago. Facinating country and did themselves proud with hosting the RWC!

Then i returned here to the West Country to fall right back into half term and playing in the woods! We had a great few days in the woods and one day was all bar one fully booked, which was excellent and we had a smashing day. We hope for more like that next year when the Woodland Playschemes start up again in February.

Then last weekend....bonfire night! Not only was a good time to celebrate Guy Fawks night, it was also Christina's 40th birthday (who does a lot of the blogging and is often the face of the Woodland Play Centre, as is at the heart of all networking!!) and also Mathilde (Chrsitina's daughter) had her 6th birthday the same week, Mathilde is often in the woods and can be found with Woody and Roo in tow! She has an air of magic that brings the woods alive. So this was a good reason to party and celebrate in the woods.

The day started with a Robin Hood birthday party, there were 18 young people ranging from 1 to 11 years old all dressed up and ready to make bows and arrows. We had (thankfully) ample adults to help as that was a bit of a mission! It was a busy afternoon, as there was a 'shooting range' once the bows and arrows were made! There was lots of running, chasing, finding, climbing trees all afternoon too. The toilet as always is a highlight!

Then the food.....what a feast! Sausages, cake, biscuits, marshmallows. A friend of Christina's made some amazing cup cakes that looked so beautiful on the cake stands in the woodland, just waiting for a woodland pixie to land on top of them!! All in all it was a great success and think the children (and adults!) went home exhausted, tired and smelly!

As if that was not enough, we...well Christina decided we would have a Bonfire party in the evening, in the woods! The lanterns were lit to light the path into the woods, we had a big bonfire and then on the camp fire had more food, mulled wine and homemade soup! We had friends from all over to come and celebrate in the woods and we gathered around the bonfire with our sparklers and then poof.....the bonfire flames changed colour, they went all green, blue, red, purple. Who needs fireworks....we had lots of 'oooo'ss, ahhh's and wow's', all without a bang!!

Here are some images of recent goings on....enjoy ;) 




Monday, 19 September 2011

Autum Adventures....

Hello fellow Woodlanders, 

With the summer well and truly behind us now…it is time to look forward to some autumnal crisp explorations, all wrapped up in our hats, gloves and scarf! Here is what we are up to. 

The last session…for now, on this series of Wild Art mornings in Pixie’s Wood takes place on FRIDAY 30TH SEPETEMBER. If you have missed out so far, take a look at the Woodland Blog page for photos on what we have got up. Wild Art runs from 1000 – 1200noon and you are welcome to stay in the woods to explore, play and picnic until 1300hrs. Costs are £12 per child, £8 for the second child. Refreshments are provided.

 If you would like to book a place then contact Christina Dithmar on or Ali Webb at

We are planning on organising a ‘Festive’ Wild Art in December so keep an eye open for the date (or register your interest now), if you fancy making some natural and festive decorations, drinking hot drinks around a roaring fire, as well mince pies and mulled wine!!

Come to the woods for a day or more to explore, get close to nature and play in nature’s playground!

On TUESDAY 25TH, WEDNESDAY 26TH AND THURSDAY 27TH OCTOBER; 1000 – 1600hrs £20 per child, with the early bird option from 0900 and night owl until 1700hrs at £5 per option

There will be opportunities to go on autumn adventures, trying to hear the rutting stags, creating crunchy creatures, wide games and some bow and arrow action!

Please book and register your interest with Christina by emailing her at 

We will be doing some tree planting too, so watch this space for a family tree planting day as well.

With regard to all bookings for the next month please can you either send a message via the woodland facebook page or via Christina Dithmar, as I will NOT be having email communication for a month!

So, this is me over and out for a month. Hope to see many of you over the half term.

Playful wishes Louise 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Coming up....

Coming up we have the final...for now...of the Wild Art sessions on Friday 30th September. Please contact Louise at or Ali Webb from Creation Station to book on.

So far they are a great success so we have started plotting to do a Chrsitmas Wild Art...along with mince pies!!

Also coming up are the autumn half term WOODLAND PLAYSCHEMES on the tuesday, wednesday and thursday of half term. Contact Louise for details, but there will be some serious fire lighting, hot chocolate drinking and adventures going on!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Wild Art - this coming weekend

The last weekend before school starts back again we are running another WILD ART session in the woods.

1000 - 1200noon, don't forget to bring a picnic if you want to stay and enjoy the woods for a little bit longer, until 1300hrs.

Wild Art is aimed at under 8's but is open to all, if you have older siblings that want to come they are welcome (and can always den build & explore!!)

BOOK NOW by emailing or ringing Louise at or 07775 941353

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Woodland Playschemes

Woodland Playschemes can sometimes be hit and miss, with families trying to juggle in holidays and work during the school holidays. The Summer Holidays are nearly over and we are already thinking about the next holiday - OCTOBER HALF TERM!
Woodland Playschemes~ during the October half term will be on; Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th. 1000 - 1600hrs with the added option of an early bird and night owl drop off for those parents that are working. It feels like autumn is almost upon us, but we will be certainly getting up to some autumnal fun and games in the woods then!

So why not book up now?!


Is there anyone in this den....?

        Yes...there were four lads in there!!

 We do love the hammocks! the middle of a game of capture the flag, the defenders have time to sit and gaze up through the tree canopy & were talking about how fast the clouds were moving! Marvellous!

The best place to hang the top net!

The Pole lathe in action again!And Woody....well what can we say....he really is just amazing & loves spending a day with us in the woods...especially if there are any sausages left over!

The lovely Harriet was honoured by having her face painted in order to join a 'team'....!!

Megan & Jack found a young toad, we seem to be seeing lots at the moment. This one was risking life and limb around the camp, with an inquizitive terrier, interested labrador and children's feet!

We had a great day yesterday in the woods, with some amazing dens.

To book onto the October half term's playscheme. Contact Louise on 07775 941353 or email her at