Forest school fully subscribed just months after moving to new site

 At the site of the Wild Touch forest school in Holt Country Park are, from left, Diana Leo, little Autumn Thody, Davina...

At the site of the Wild Touch forest school in Holt Country Park are, from left, Diana Leo, little Autumn Thody, Davina Landers, Mike Thody - who carved the sign - and Gemma Thody. - Credit: Supplied by Davina Landers

A forest school founded by lifelong friends has been hailed as a success just months after moving to a new location at Holt Country Park . 

Wild By Nature is now fully and subscribed and has plans to expand, having been based at the park since October.

The forest school was originally set up in September 2019 and had been based at the Great Wood at Blickling Estate.

 At the site of the Wild Touch forest school in Holt Country Park. 

At the site of the Wild Touch forest school in Holt Country Park. - Credit: Supplied by Davina Landers

Davina Landers, who set up the school with Diana Leo and Gemma Thody, said: "There are so many benefits or children learning in a woodland environment. It gives them a great sense of freedom, they can go off and explore, let off steam if they need to, or if they need some quiet time they can go off and sit still and just be."

Miss Landers said the country park was the perfect environment for children to learn about nature.

She said the ethos of forest schooling sought to explore young children's learning and development holistically, rather than academically.

Miss Landers said: "It's always changing and adapting to the weather conditions, and that brings with it a variety of different plants, mammals and insects.
"All of this encourages their natural curiosity, builds their empathy for nature and others. And this in turn builds their self-esteem, enabling them to feel empowered and sets them up for the rest of their life." 

The country park is owned by North Norfolk District Council, who have been with the forest school. 

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Colin Brown, the council's sports, recreation and countryside manager, said: “We have been planning this for the last 12 months and we’re delighted that we’ve got to where we are today and I’m really looking forward to working with them to grow this project into the future.”

Councillor Virginia Gay, portfolio holder for leisure, wellbeing and culture, added: 

"We're so pleased that Holt Country Park is the setting for such a wonderful outdoor learning project.

"It’s so important that children get to experience the beautiful environment we have around us and learn how to look after nature.



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