THERE’S something about Scandinavian culture that is so very appealing, as the lifestyle concept hygge – which is said to make homes cosier and people happier – attests.

So perhaps there’s little surprise that Forest School, another Scandinavian import, is becoming increasingly widespread in primary schools, woodlands, and nature reserves across the UK, including right here in Warrington.

In the past three years, Cheshire Wildlife Trust has introduced more than 3,000 children to the great outdoors in Warrington through the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Thanks to a cash boost of £132,000, the Trust’s Wild Warrington project has provided free Forest School sessions to local primary schools, run outdoor activities aimed at pre-schoolers, and hosted themed days for families.

The concept of Forest School stretches back decades. It involves taking children into a woodland or forest environment to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences.

It’s not so much a practice as a philosophy and it’s an idea that has really caught on.

Nick Rowles, Wild Communities Officer (North) explained: “We know being in nature is good for us and Forest School is a fantastic way to re-wild the child and make nature a part of growing up, but it also provides a practical element to learning.

“It promotes holistic development in children, building up their physical skills, and has huge health benefits. It also improves their social skills and gives them a chance to enjoy and connect with the natural world.”

During term time Cheshire Wildlife Trust runs Nature Tots sessions for two to four-year-olds at Moore Nature Reserve, plus Family Forest School one Saturday a month, and WildPlay sessions during the school holidays.

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Nick said: “We’ve been really grateful to receive funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery to help us deliver this work in Warrington. It has given us a fantastic opportunity to help children and adults discover a wilder Cheshire.”

The Trust has also welcomed more than 30 local schools to experience Forest School, and it’s been a big hit with pupils and teachers alike.

Teacher Sarah Nesbitt, from Locking Stumps Primary School whose pupils took part in the project, said: “It was a fantastic programme. Many of the children would not have had this experience or been in this sort of environment for an extended period. Their obvious excitement, concentration and application was fabulous.

“Not once did I hear ‘my hands are muddy’, or ‘I’m cold’, just lots of observations about their environment, and it was great to watch the older children interact and care for the younger pupils, showing them skills that they had, and channelling their own skills.”

The project has proved to be such as success that free Nature Tots sessions are now being run at Spud Wood, in Lymm. These new sessions at the Stage Lane woodland run from 10am to 11.30am every Wednesday during term time.

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Nick added: “We’re delighted with the growing success of Wild Warrington. These activities are not only valuable in helping people appreciate and care for wildlife, they also really draw people together, creating a space where they can enjoy time immersed in nature, chat with friends and get to know new people.

“And hopefully, by planting the seed now, we’re inspiring a whole new generation to care about and look after our local wildlife in the future.”

  •  For more information about Nature Tots, Family Forest School and WildPlay and how to book, visit