Networks & Support

Conference in the woodsIt can be easy for practitioners to become isolated following training. By not having further support or guidance you might start to experience barriers to keeping your outdoor activities going.

The Forest of Avon Trust is strongly committed to providing ongoing support when you have completed your course. This will significantly increase your ability to develop and maintain outdoor learning for your groups. Being part of a network ensures that you keep up to date on local and national changes and continue to follow best practice.

National networks

The Forest School Association

The FSA is a self-governing, democratic and inclusive, membership organisation that works towards ensuring high standards in Forest School training and practice across the UK. It acts as a dedicated voice for Forest School, promoting its benefits for all.

As a member you will help support this work and receive benefits such as: access to practitioner networks, resources, information and research, plus discounts on services and goods.

FSA website:


Tel: 01228 564 407

The Forest Education Network

The FEN is the successor to the Forest Education Initiative (FEI) in England. The FEI ran for 20 years with over 40 successful ‘Cluster Groups’ in England. The FEI continues in Wales & Scotland, but in England the Forest Education Network was developed and is now run by a partnership of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) and Natural Route.

The FEN aims to: help promote the contribution of forest education to outdoor learning, to act as a forum for practitioners to exchange ideas and share good practice to help raise standards, and to provide through its network a collective voice to influence policy and practice.

FEN website:


Local networks

Bristol, Bath & West Forest Education Network

Bristol, Bath & West FEN  and was set up by the Forest of Avon to support forest educators locally. The group represents over 100 practitioners working in a variety of settings.

The network is for anyone who wants to: share ideas, promote opportunities for Forest School, ask advice and offer help. Access to the group is free and all advice given is informal and should not necessarily be seen as best practice or professional guidance.

The group meets four times a year and we hope to become part of a wider south west biennial overnight gathering. To join, like the Facebook page to share online.

Website: Bristol, Bath and West Forest Education Network Facebook group

Further reading and resources

A selection of websites and books which contain research about outdoor learning and play, and ideas for activities.


Forest of Avon Trust woodland activity guides

Council for Learning outside the classroom – resource packs

Growing Schools – resources for teachers and support staff

Woodland Trust - seasonal ideas for outdoor play

Research and further reading

Richard Louv: Last Child in the Woods – seminal book about ‘nature deficit’

Forest Research – research by the Forestry Commission into how trees benefit society

Tim Gill: Rethinking childhood – the changing nature of childhood, play and free time

Children & Nature Network – U.S. research into children and outdoor play and learning