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‘I feel like I have been on a Forest School myself.’
‘I really enjoyed it and thought it was brilliant.’
‘It was good to slow down and being here was great.’
These were a few comments from our last Forest School Leader training course at the end of 2013. This year we continue to develop our accredited training, with courses starting in March and April, for those wanting to explore using the Forest School Approach with their groups. The Forest of Avon Trust is a member of the Forest School Association, the national governing body of Forest School, and after completing our training trainees will receive a years free membership. We are also part of the Forest School trainers network and use best practice and the latest updated structure for the accredited training we provide.
We have worked with a broad range of educational professionals and private individuals over the last year that want to lead groups following the Forest School ethos. We have provided on-going support and advice to help groups set up their Forest School programmes and identify spaces they can use and also improve for the future. Some individuals have gone on to set up their own successful businesses in offering a range of Forest School activities to their local schools and communities.
Through our wider educational work and passion for trees and woodlands we strive to help Forest School leaders and those wanting to take groups in to natural spaces to provide inspiring experiences and find links to key local networks. Through this outdoor leaders will be less isolated and are more able to succeed in developing their activities now and into the future.
The Forest of Avon Trust continues to develop its work as part of Natural Connections Demonstration Project, one of the largest outdoor learning projects in the UK. As ‘hub leader’ for North Somerset, we are excited to be supporting schools to forge links between each other, and with outdoor learning providers, to improve and extend learning in the natural environment.
The John Muir award is a key part of supporting and recognising schools and individuals in developing unique and valuable experience in the natural environment. This award works so well to support the this project as it is flexible to meet the needs of each group and also captures not only learning and development in natural spaces but also supports groups to look after and improve these spaces for people and wildlife.
It is great news that the John Muir award team are going to work with one of our key Beacon schools – Clevedon Secondary School – to run some training on Wednesday 26th March to support schools and professionals in North Somerset and the wider area to develop new opportunities for outdoor activities and explore using the John Muir award to capture this. If you would like to book on this please follow this link.
Trees planted at Southfield and Haydon earlier in 2013 are looking strong and healthy and have put on good rates of growth. More planting is planned in and around Radstock and Jen Green Trees & Woodlands Project Officer is also planning a number of Garden Forest schemes to get more trees in gardens, to complement the great work taking place elsewhere.
Peter Wise has joined the Trust Board, bringing the number of Directors to 7. Peter is the Managing Director of the highly successful Minuteman Press Bristol and also a visiting Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire. Peter brings with him extensive marketing and business expertise and we are all really pleased to welcome him to the Trust.
We have just extended our popular Tree Dedication scheme to include The Retreat community woodland between Bitton and Wick.
For £10, the Trust provides a unique and personalised Certificate of Tree Dedication to a loved one and also contributes to looking after one of four accessible woodlands close to Bristol. It’s a great gift and one which helps look after the local environment.
To receive the certificate yourself/ send it direct, please complete the Tree Dedication Form and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org paying via our Virgin Money Giving account , or post to the address details on the form with a cheque payable to: Forest of Avon Trust.
We are really pleased to announce that Jen Green has joined the Trust as part- time Trees and Woodlands Project Officer. She will be identifying potential tree planting sites and taking forward our Garden Forest project in a number of areas. Jen will also be extending our network of contacts and helping to promote our Tree Dedication scheme.
The Trust has just embarked on an exciting new project, which is being trialled across the south-west by Plymouth University. The Natural Connections Demonstration Project is one of the largest outdoor learning projects in the UK.
As ‘hub leader’ for Somerset, the Forest of Avon Trust has recently recruited a new administrator – Bea Oliver – to work with Training Manager, Jon Attwood, to deliver the project. We will be supporting schools to forge links between each other, and with outdoor learning providers, to improve and extend learning in the natural environment.
We have now begun the process of recruiting up to five Beacon Schools in North Somerset(primary, secondary or special), which have experience of delivering Learning in the Natural Environment (LINE). Each Beacon School will receive support, training and investment through the project to become LINE specialists and will in turn support up to seven schools new to LINE – ‘cluster schools’ – to improve their offer of learning outside the classroom.
We are also seeking professional providers of outdoor learning to work with the schools taking part, and will be holding an information event for providers on Wed. 20th November at Shapwick Heath Nature Reserve. If you would like more details about getting involved, please email email@example.com.
For more information on learning outside the classroom, take a look at the Growing Schools website.
Following last year’s successful scheme, the Forest of Avon Trust is again be able to offer the following pot- grown bush apple trees for Bristol allotment- holders. Collection from Ashton Court in early November:
- Ashmeads Kernel, (Gloucestershire): eating apple, harvest October, flowering group 4; rootstocks: M27 and M9;
- Blenheim Orange, (Oxford): eating & cooking apple, harvest October, flowering group 3; rootstock: M27;
- Bramley’s Original, (Nottinghamshire): cooking apple, harvest October, flowering group 3; rootstocks: M27, M9;
- Bramley’s Seedling, (Nottinghamshire): cooking apple, harvest October, flowering group 3; rootstock: M27;
- Cox Orange Pippin, (Bristol- self fertile variety): eating apple, harvest October, flowering group 3; rootstock: M27, M9;
- Egremont Russet, (Sussex): eating apple, harvest October, flowering group 2; rootstock: M27, M9;
- Worcester Pearmain, (Worcester): eating apple, harvest September, flowering group 3; rootstock: M27.
The rootstocks above are dwarfing and will result in a guideline tree size of 2 metres (M27) and 2.5 metres (M9), respectively. All will need supporting with stakes/ wires and high levels of weed control and watering. All these varieties will pollinate each other.
Bush apple trees at least two years old and are approximately 1.2 to 1.5 metres high, including compost filled 12- litre pot.
This year apples are: £26, still well below garden centre prices. We can also supply pot grown pear trees on Quince C rootstock (£27), cherries on Gisela 5 (£28) and plums on pixy (£28). We also supply blackberries, raspberries and stakes + ties, mats + pegs and rabbit guards.
As a guide a maximum of three dwarf fruit trees can be planted on an allotment. In all cases, planting needs to be (simply) checked with Bristol’s Allotments team on (0117) 922 3737.
If you have any questions or special requests please also email the address above.
All are supplied subject to availability: alternatives will be offered.
Trees to be collected by arrangement from Ashton Court Estate and are supplied with a planting/ maintenance guide. Delivery for up to 3 trees can be arranged and is £5 (0- 5 miles of Ashton Court); £10 (6- 10 miles); longer distances by arrangement (typically between £4- £8/ tree).
A HUGE RANGE OF OTHER VARIETIES AND ROOT STOCKS CAN BE ALSO BE PRE- ORDERED AND COLLECTED FOR GARDEN PLANTING, please email to enquire.