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We have a large shelter on site, a tarpaulin area and also a huge parachute tarp that sits above the fire circle so we can still have a fire in bad weather. Obviously it is still a good idea to wear warm, waterproof clothes and wellies but there are plenty of places for the adults to retreat to whilst the children jump in puddles!
We have car parking, a compost toilet, a shelter, somewhere to wash hands and hot water for teas/coffees. We don’t have any electricity or running water (all drinking water and hot water is bought down to site in water carriers/urns).
There are parking spaces for up to 25 cars on site. If the car park is full you are not allowed to park outside of our walled area as we do not own this land or the road – you will have to drive back to Lodge Bank, park on the road side there and then walk back to site (10 minutes walk). It is very rare that we can’t squeeze you in though – on busy events people usually double park as you will all be leaving at the same time anyway.
In addition to the themed activities we provide there is a wealth of things to do on site – we have a mud kitchen area, gardening tools to dig with, a tunnel to crawl through and climb over, a pulley bucket system, a sand pit, a fairy tree and a slope to climb up and slide down. If it has rained there will be puddles to jump in and mud to play with. Children are usually very good at getting stuck in and exploring the natural environment but if you do need any help with ideas just come and ask one of the staff. We usually provide a range of themed activities depending on what event we’re doing but the toddler group sessions have a bit more time for free play.
Forest school is an educational ethos that is focused on outdoor ‘free play’ and is very child-led. It is centred on children having regular, long term access to an outdoor environment to explore. Forest school leaders provide small, achievable tasks to build confidence whilst the children learn about managing risks through tool use, camp fires and climbing trees. Most of our family events and toddler sessions are not true forest school as we do provide a series of structured activities but we try to incorporate as much of it as we can in the way we present activities and interact with the children.
Please wear warm, comfortable and waterproof clothing that you don’t mind getting muddy, and suitable footwear (wellies or walking boots). Long sleeves and trousers are recommended (even in summer). Spare clothes are often a good idea. We provide snacks and refreshments (if your child is coming for a holiday club they will need to bring a packed lunch). If we are hosting your party we provide hot drinks for adults and squash/water for children and have a good stock of plastic crockery/cups available – if you are bringing party food we do ask that you bring a bin liner (or 2) to take your rubbish away with you as we have no waste disposal facilities on site (other than a compost bin)
Most of our events should have a recommended age stated on the event page. However, in general, most of our activities are probably best suited for school age upwards. Having said that we have done several successful parties for 2 year olds and obviously, our toddler group is aimed at pre-schoolers (walkers upwards). Younger children and babies can (and do) attend but (other than a picnic rug we put down) there is nowhere to put them so they would have to be in a sling or a pram.
You can bring a pram to site – it can be slightly muddy in places but there are wood chipped paths and the car park is hard cored. Many of our family events involve a walk to site, in which case you will need to ask us about whether the route is suitable for prams.