Creating Foresters

How do you end up a forester?

To quote David Attenborough “no one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”

So to play our part in this we work with local schools to give them an opportunity to explore some of the woods we look after. We maintain forest school sites near the towns of Brecon and Abergavenny. Forest schools are areas we have created that school groups can come to, to explore their natural surroundings, get muddy, build dens and cook on fires. More than just an extended play time, these sessions get children up close to nature and encourage them to create their own adventure, to assess their own risks and test their own physical abilities.

One of our forest school sites.

One of our forest school sites.

Not everyone can make it out to our sites regularly, or at all, with pressures on schools to meet budgets and teaching targets. Here we try to help schools bring the outdoors to them. We help supply materials for schools to build their own outdoor learning areas in their grounds. Logs for teaching circles, branches for den building and material for projects.

Delivering materials for a log circle to one of our local schools.

Delivering materials for a log circle to one of our local schools.

We also work with our local Outdoor Learning Wales (OLW) Networks and have recently helped support teacher training in South Powys and the creation of a literacy training pack.

Teaching the teachers.

Teaching the teachers.

For those that have developed an interest in woodlands and decided they want to make a career out of it, we can help them take their first steps into the industry. Each year we take on a full time volunteer. In return for their time we offer them a chance to learn and practice the skills we use in our woodland management, from planting trees, right the way through to milling and making timber products.

One of our volunteers progressing on to felling bigger trees.

One of our volunteers progressing on to felling bigger trees.

If you are a teacher and interested in how your school could get involved, you can contact me through our social media, or find me at the Outdoor Learning Wales (OLW) Network meetings for South Powys or the Monmouthshire meetings in the north of the county.

Tim
Woodland Ranger

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2 thoughts on “Creating Foresters

  1. Hi Tim. I’m a parent at Cantref Primary School in Abergavenny and I’m interested to find out hhow our school could get involved in your forest school sessions. Thanks, Chloe

    • Hi Chloe,

      Best thing is probably to find if the school has a memeber of staff leading outdoor sessions. We can then work with them to see if the Skirrid is suitable if they can travel, or help with some of the materials they need for outdoor learning projects in the school grounds.
      Unfortunately we don’t lead school sessions, but we will be doing a few holiday activities this summer in St. Marys Vale on the Sugarloaf, starting this Easter.
      If staff from your school would like to contact me, my e-mail is tim.bennett@nationaltrust.org.uk.

      Cheers, Tim

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