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The value and application of learning outdoors.

Inspiration for outdoor learning – Inset Day

Group under and around a willow tree

Creating a poem about a willow

We recently ran an Inservice training day with Charborough Road Primary School (whom we have worked with before to create a mini orchard) in North Bristol to explore a range of outdoor activities that would engage their pupils with the natural spaces in their grounds. The day focused on a range of creative and practical approaches to explore outdoor spaces, including – exploring colours and creating a natural mosaic and making natural perfumes. More »

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Woodland Activity Family Day

Marshmallows being cooked.

Cooking on the fire.

The Forest of Avon Trust in partnership with with Bristol Adoption Support Service has run a day for 30 people in the woods at Ashton Court Estate. The family groups went on a short walk across the top of Ashton Court Estate exploring natural colours that can be found in the landscape. Then, in a small woodland clearing the group  spent the day enjoying games and activities in the woods, as well as having a relaxing lunch and marshmallows toasted on the fire.

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Big Green Week Woodland Conference

Keynote Speech in Water Vole Woodland at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Keynote Speech by Rowena Kenny

The beautiful and sunny Water Vole Woodland at Lawrence Weston Community Farm was the excellent host for our Bristol Big Green Week woodland event. It was a great success with a fantastic turn out of over 40 professionals from education, social and health sectors attending. Rowena Kenny set the scene with an enlightening and inspiring talk exploring how children’s and adults’ relationships with the outdoors has changed over the past few decades and why it is so important that we are all able to get out into natural spaces.

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Woodland Conference

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Activity & Games Guides for Woodland and Parks

Kingsweston Estate family dayThe following activity guides have been developed by Rachel Tomlinson for the Forest of Avon Trust to help groups and families use their senses to explore and discover natural spaces that have trees growing in them.

These activities can be used during a walk, picnic or as a more formal education session to learn about the natural world.

The first two activities relate to Kingsweston Estate in Northwest Bristol and are set out to be part of a walk to explore the area around the house. However the spaces to play and explore guide has activities that could be used elsewhere.  Kingsweston Estate is a public park with a cafe.

Kingsweston Estate Activity Guides

Tree Treasure Hunt at Kingsweston Estate (pdf)

Spaces to play and explore around Kingsweston Estate (pdf)

Explore & Discover using your senses – games and activities

Woodland Collecting Game (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Natural Textures – page1 (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Natural textures – page2 (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Natural Shapes – page1 (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Natural Shapes – page2 (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Looking – page1 (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Looking – page2 (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Listening – page1 (pdf)

Woodland Bingo – Listening – page2 (pdf)

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Crowds Went Wild About Trees At The Festival Of Nature

Inside The Wild About Tree Tent, Crowds gather to sample the activities.On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June 2011 The Forest of Avon Trust took part at the Festival of Nature in Bristol. Preparations began on Thursday to dress the marquee. Our marquee, called “Wild about trees”  was shared with Bristol City Council and Avon Gorge and Downs project based at Bristol Zoo.  Huge thanks go to John Lewis Cribbs Causeway Visual Merchandise Team who very kindly brought to life our visions for the sensory woodland and produced the displays, signs and interactivities for our woodland trail.  Activities were on offer such as feely boxes filled with forest material, sounds & smells from the woodlands all designed to tempt visitors to share with us their views and feelings when in the woods.  A memory tree shown above, invited those who had gone through the sensory boxes to share their memories that were prevoked as a result by writing them down onto a sticky flowerpad. These were then placed onto the branches of the tree. Some of the memorable experiences written down were:-

“Discovering wild strawberries in a wood in Yorkshire when I was 9″

“Walking up a river through the woods in our boots”

“Playing hide and seek in the woods with my friends and coming home smelling of forest”

Thanks also to Almondsbury Garden Centre for the loan of some fantastic plants to decorate the marquee and to Timberland from The Mall at Cribbs Causeway who eagerly volunteered to help run the actvities. They also donated a pair of Earth Keeper Boat shoes that were used as a prize draw for those who completed a feedback form and were won by Matthew Hanbidge from Bristol.

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Mini Orchard Project- 100 Trees & Counting

Bromley Heath School Downend Bristol

Callicroft School Patchway Bristol

St Chads School Bristol

St Chads School Bristol

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Wood School- Learning, Naturally

Finding out about the many roles of trees

This is being delivered alongside Goblin Combe Environment Centre’s Climate Change Barometer in 8 schools in the Worle area of Weston super Mare. Wood School is working with Reception and Year 1 children to engage them in the importance of trees and the wider natural environment. Activities have included finding the strongest tree in the school grounds; leaf rubbings; making bird feeders of fat and seed, around a cone; and collecting palates of natural colour from school grounds.

Wood School is available free of charge where we can secure grants and donations, £200/ day on a cost covering basis. To find out more, email: jonclark@forestofavontrust.org

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