Wild Lives Forest School
Wild Lives invites you and your young explorers for forest school adventures in Warley Woods, an award winning green space and richly diverse woodland full of inspiration and natural wonders!
Each session is full of play and exploration with seasonal, nature-based experiences on offer, such as den building, mud kitchen, natural crafts, bug hunting, campfire cooking, treasure hunts and games, among many other things. Forest school takes place in all weathers and seasons, working with the nature's rhythms, connecting learners to the seasons and the woodland. This helps to build resilience and encourages us to find the joy in everyday, instead of waiting for a sunny day! We provide a positive, supportive, child-centred environment with qualified and experienced practitioners on hand to inspire and nurture young minds. We support children to take age appropriate risks and face achievable challenges that help them to grow and develop in confidence, using hands-on learning and real tools. Your young explorers are free to play and follow their own interests, learning and developing whilst building their relationship with the natural world, with themselves and with each other.
Wild play in Warley Woods
For children of all ages and their grown ups. Join us for some seasonal family adventures in Warley Woods. These sessions run on various weekends and school holidays throughout the year. See the schedule below for current dates and to book!
Little Wild Ones - For children ages 8 months – 5 years
For your youngest explorers and a parent/carer, this programme of weekly sessions is all about child-led play and adventuring! Join Laura, one of our forest school leaders, for fun making mud pies, swinging in the hammock, balancing on the slackline, and exploring the woodland and the creatures that live there. Sessions often include stories and activities designed to inspire curiosity and creativity. We support children to begin to develop a connection to the natural world by experiencing it as a joyful place to play - somewhere that they will grow to love and want to protect. There will be the chance to use some simple tools and to cook on a campfire during the programme.
We encourage adults to join in the play and take some time to connect with other local parents/carers and enjoy the benefits of spending some time together outdoors in nature.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, term-time.
Bookings are taken for the half term and cost £9.50 per session for the first or only child and £8 for each subsequent sibling.
Adults and non walking siblings are free of charge.
Home Ed Adventurers
For home educated children we offer two groups - one forest school group for children aged 5 and over with their grown ups, and a bushcraft club for children aged 10 and over who are confident to attend without a parent or carer. These groups are led by Bracken, one of our forest school leaders, and are designed to develop considerate, independent and responsible learners with a love and appreciation for the outdoors. We build confidence and practical skills through a combination of guided activities with roots in bushcraft and outdoor learning, and child-led play.
Bookings are taken for a block of sessions. Please see schedule below for dates and more details.
Wildlings holiday club - For children age 8-11 years
Join two of our forest school leaders, Laura & Bracken, in the school holidays for a day of outdoor play and learning, with shelter building, basic tools, fire lighting and campfire cooking. These days are designed for a small group of children age 8-11 who are confident to attend without their parent/carer. Please see schedule below for dates and more details.
Family Bushcraft Days
Join experienced bushcrafter and forest school leader, Bracken, for a day of learning new skills together as a family, helping you to connect with the woodland and with each other. Various dates throughout the year, see schedule below and click on the date for more information and to book.
Wild Tribe in Bournville Park
These weekend forest play sessions are provided for local families in partnership with Friends of Bournville Park and provided free of charge thanks to funding from The National Lottery. For children of all ages and their parents / carers. Various dates throughout the year - see schedule below and click on the date for more information and to book.
Our annual woodland wellbeing retreat for women takes place around the Summer solstice. We gather together to relax and enjoy some time in nature, with seasonal natural crafts, bushcraft, yoga and delicious vegan food cooked on the campfire.
Our Wild Lives team....
We are Laura and Nicole, forest school practitioners, mud-loving adventurers and co-founders of Wild Lives Forest School. We have our own free-range children and can often be found walking, camping, climbing, exploring and cooking on a campfire. Working and playing in nature has had a hugely positive impact on us professionally and personally and we were inspired to create Wild Lives to help others experience the benefits too. Amid concerns about declines in play, physical activity and nature connection, increases in mental health difficulties, and the dominance of technology, we provide time and space to play and explore, to find joy and wonder, and to learn and develop in nature. We firmly believe that all humans benefit hugely from regular opportunities for play, physical activity and time to 'just be' in nature.
We are approved Therapeutic Forest Practitioners, mental health first aiders and we are trained in safeguarding, food safety and data protection. We have spent our careers working with children and families and have a wealth of experience in primary school teaching and play work. We follow the Forest School ethos and principles for good practice (see https://www.forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/) and love nurturing the innate drive to play, learn and connect to the natural world.
Bracken runs our bushcraft sessions and home-education groups. An experienced bushcrafter and forest school leader, he spent his childhood outdoors, growing up in South Africa and was mostly home educated himself. His passion is to teach and inspire people to gain the skills, abilities and confidence to be happy, healthy and live purposefully in a sustainable and human way. Check out his website: www.brackenoutdoors.com
Katie is a forest school leader with a passion for play. When not found in the woods building dens and splashing in puddles she can be found making things from clay and wood in her workshop. Katie has over 20 years of experience working in the creative arts, helping people to express themselves and build practical skills. She also runs Ampersand Projects, an organisation that connects people to nature through creative play. See more of Ampersand's work here: www.ampersandprojects.org
All of our leaders hold appropriate forest school/teaching qualifications, public liability insurance, DBS disclosures and level 3 first aid qualifications.