Have you seen what’s happening in our school field? An exciting development is taking place, introducing our very own ‘ADVENTURE FOREST’.
Following on from our brilliant work with the ‘Thrills and Skills’ team last year, we have decided to continue the adventure! With our Sports Premium funding and support from the school PTA we have welcomed Chris and his ‘Thrills and Skills’ team back into school to work on an exciting two-year project!
Scroll down for regular updates!
This project will see the development of an adventure forest, with the aims of:
- enhancing the enrichment of our school curriculum
- encouraging closer links with the people within our local community
- creating new habitats for wildlife
- creating an exciting and fun outdoor learning environment to engage all
Why not take a sneak preview at our ideas, using the following link: Byerley Park Forest plan
Week one progress: After our first week, the ground splodge has proved a problem in terms of carrying materials! A perimeter fence has been erected around the development using natural tree branches and the foundations of a pond installed. We’re excited to see what next week will bring!
Week two progress: This week, Chris and his team have made some fantastic progress, battling the very wet and cold weather conditions! Our Adventure Forest is beginning to take shape. I wonder if you can identify what’s been happening?
Progress over the Christmas holiday: We’re really excited to see how our Adventure Forest has developed over the festive period. Here is a sneaky peak:
Welcome back: Our Adventure Forest is being created completely from natural resources and with an important aim of welcoming a wider variety of wildlife into our school grounds. The fence line and archway are now complete, as well as our hedgehog friendly border:
w/b 13th January 2020: Chris and his team have now moved on to the Canadian lodge. This is partly to allow the grass to recover around the African hut before the roof is completed. The frame of the lodge is built and the roof is next. It will be clad with logs and thick sticks to make it into a Canadian log cabin.
Part of the week has been spent collecting wood and sticks for the cladding:
w/b 20th January 2020: Why not take a look inside our Adventure Forest development by clicking on the video below:
w/b 27th January 2020
Chris has been hard at work creating the ‘Native American shelter making area’:
The idea of this is that the children use the frames to build their shelters and use the ideas to develop their own shelter structures. At the centre, there are log seats and a tree stump table too.
The cladding of the Canadian Lodge also continues …….
The tunnel leading from inside the forest up to the pond is also well underway, using a slabbed flooring and logs to mark the pathway. Once the lovely sunshine begins to make an appearance the leaves and long grass will help the tunnel to take its shapes and disguise it within its natural surroundings:
31st January 2020: Mrs Plumb and the Y4 girls and boys ventured up to the forest to have a sneak peak at what was happening.
w/b 24th February 2020: It’s been a couple of weeks since I have updated you on the development of our Adventure Forest. Since then, we have had February half term and a week of unpredictable weather conditions!
The slabs for the path into the forest tunnel are now complete. The cladding of the wood on the outside of the Canadian Lodge continues and the frame of the lodge is complete, with a decking walkway into it. As the trees and the grass begin to grow around it, it will begin to look like it has always been there!
Adventure Forest update: 17/03/20
Thanks to Newbottle Primary Academy who have trimmed their willow tunnel and donated 22 bundles of willow to make the roof for our African lodge. It’s been created in the style of the centuries old Iraqi tradition of reed roofs.
A fire bucket has also been added around the fire area.
6th May 2020 – Chris is back!
Over recent weeks, we have been watching the forest grow naturally from a distance but are pleased to say that Chris has returned to continue his creativity on it! On Monday and Tuesday this week Chris was in school working on the adventure forest and he has taken some fabulous photographs to show how it looks:
- A new gated entrance into our forest, just awaiting its name plaque!
- Our developing, camouflaged Canadian Lodge continues to be cladded.
- My favourite part – the African Lodge!
- The area where I know we will have so much fun building dens! There have also been sightings of field mice and hedgehogs inside the living wall.
- The fire circle has been weeded and trimmed.
- Our tunnel entrance towards the pond is growing well and looks very welcoming for our local wildlife.
Thursday 14th May 2020 – It was a beautiful day today, so our keyworker children decided to join Chris in the adventure forest. They had a tour around the forest and discussed the different areas and progress being made.
Two of the children brought in some tadpoles and we thought it would be a great idea to release them into our pond! We discussed the pond eco-system and identified some of the insects living inside the pond. Next, we decided to visit the den building area and set the children a challenge! They had to be very careful when retrieving sticks, as we had sleeping hedgehogs in the living wall!
The children finished their morning in the adventure forest by learning how to light a campfire! The began by gathering dry grass. They placed it in a pile and fluffed it up. Following this, they created a fire circle using some thicker sticks. The purpose of this was to stop the fire from spreading. Next, the children collected small sticks to place on top of the grass pile. They had to place them in a tepee shape! Before the fire was lit, Chris discussed the importance of fire safety and that you should always approach a fire on your knees. The children listened and followed this advice very carefully! Once the fire was lit, the children maintained it by placing small, dry sticks on it. As it became established now came the best part, the toasting of the marshmallows. Delicious!