Urban forest schools funding from People's Postcode Lottery

Forest schools work at EcoParkUrban forest schools funding from People's Postcode Lottery

Thanks to a funding boost from players of People’s Postcode Lottery we are offering educational experiences to children in Small Heath that will transform their lives and boost their confidence.

A project which offers regular access to nature was given the go-ahead in 2015 thanks to the generosity of players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Children, some of whom have never had the chance to explore wild spaces – are now experiencing the natural world through a range of activities at The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country’s EcoPark environment centre. The £130,000 of funding has been paying for the provision of Forest School activities which provide fun, engaging opportunities to develop child and parent confidence, while spending time outside in nature.

This is one of six projects being funded, along with two others which started last year in Leicester and Manchester and three new ones this year in Bristol, London and Nottingham. At EcoPark there is now a popular programme of free family events during school holidays throughout the year.

Schools are being given funding to come and use the facilities for the first time, in order to experience outdoors education and then become regular users of environmental education as part of their routine. We are also ran a competition to get schools to show how they give their children more wild time in order to win prizes, such as a wild makeover for their grounds.

Developed from the Scandinavian model of learning through play outdoors, Forest Schools provide of a programme of visits over a number of weeks. These give children a chance to build relationships with the environment, their leaders and classmates and have ongoing opportunities to get to know wildlife. The leaders are trained to watch the children closely, appreciate different learning styles and personalities, and provide the right support for the individuals they care for.