Set up a Forest School

A forest school is a programme of play and learning in a woodland setting, lead by qualified forest school practitioners. If you are thinking of setting up a forest school its essential that you have:

  • A qualified Level 3 practitioner. You can find Yorkshire-based Practitioners on our Find a Practitioner page
  • An accessible woodland site, (try the Woodland Trust’s Visit Woods site)
  • Permission from the landowner to run your programme there.  If wanting to use a Bradford Council woodland first you need to:
    • Contact Woodland Management (andrew.cutts@bradford.gov.uk) to discuss your programme
    • Submit a Bradford Council PSGL form to Woodland Management, to avoid clashes

Your Forest School Practitioner can help you to think about the legal, health & safety and safeguarding obligations including:

  • Site and Activity risk assessments
  • Insurances
  • DBS checks
  • First aid training
  • Parental consent
  • Health and safety, Safeguarding and other policies

You’ll also need to consider:

  • An appropriate programme of activities for the age and abilities of your group
  • Adult to child ratios
  • Support from other adults
  • Suitable outdoor clothing and footwear
  • Travel to and from site
  • Sourcing materials and equipment
  • Evaluating the programme
  • Photos, video and photo consent
  • Budget

Members of Bradford Forest School Network would be happy to help you set up a forest school programme. Contact us to discuss.

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