As of September, we’ve moved in to a new woodland home at Westville House Primary School in Ilkley. Wow! What a location to have on your school grounds.
The woodland is teaming with life and diversity. From ancient silver birch, to prickly holly trees, luscious but rather invasive laurel, to coniferous giants; there’s a huge variety in the tree species, perfect for tree ID skills and looking at their different uses.
A small stream runs through the centre, something we’ve never had the pleasure of in our previous venues, opening a cascade of opportunities for water play. Not only that but there’s a pond too!
So far we’ve started making a few small tweaks here and there to make the space just that little bit more accessible for learning. There were a few fallen laburnum tree’s which we removed for safety reasons, then we dug out the pond which was completely overgrown and full of rubbish. The kids helped us cutback the overgrown laurel to allow light to the woodland floor to promote flower and plant growth in the future. Finally we’ve put in a new fireplace to allow us to create those cosy campfire vibes we love so much. After all the kettle for hot chocolates has to go somewhere and how else will we roast marshmallows?
Our next steps are quite literally steps. With a few steep banks which we suspect could evolve into a slip and slide with the coming winter weather, our plan is to use some of the waste wood we found scattered about and recycle this into steps to secure the landscape. We’re also hoping to develop the somewhat rustic looking bridge there as a project with our Home Education Bushcraft group, giving them the chance to brush up on all sorts of skills whilst taking ownership over their space that will be their new home.
So if you’d like to adventure in to this exciting new venue with us, check out our Woodland Explorers sessions, Where the Wildings Are sessions or our Home Education sessions. And a huge thanks to the school for making us feel so welcome!