Our Forest School programme provides those crucial outdoor lessons to children in Merseyside and North Cheshire. We also help schools to create their own woodland Forest School venues on their grounds, or, if this is not possible, set up classes held in parks and woodlands nearby.
Forest School classes are great fun, but they are also designed to help children to learn and grow, make new friends, stay active and build confidence. It's also been proven that children who spend time learning outdoors do better in mathematics and science!
Kate (aged 13) and Matthew (aged 10) Bishop from Southport have both taken part in our 'Forest School' activities and now the whole family spends more family time enjoying the beautiful places on their doorstep, including walks on the beach and woodlands.
Mum, Karen, told us,"As a family we already had loads of interest in the outdoors, but I was amazed by how much the children got from Forest School, looking at soil and even the type of bugs in the area. They both really enjoyed it, especially the den building."
"It reminded me how important it is to get out and enjoy the environment we've got, to relax as a family. So even though we were active before, we are now really active with lots of walks. The Mersey Forest gave us loads of ideas for new outdoor activities we could try as a family too."
But they haven't stopped there, as Karen tell us that they have now started growing their own vegetables from seeds: "The Forest School classes have really sparked Kate and Matthew's interest in gardening, so we have started growing cabbages and cauliflowers - some have done really well, but others keep getting eaten by the slugs!"
Forest Schools is just one of the ways that The Mersey Forest is educating local young people to respect their community, to be more environmentally aware, and to appreciate and enjoy the fantastic woodlands and parks in our region.
Since 1992, we've worked with a third of the schools in Merseyside and North Cheshire to provide Forest School places for young people. With your donations and support, we can help even more schools to put nature in the very heart of the curriculum.
If you are interested in digging out your walking boots, and spending more time outdoors as a family, then visit our Things To Do section to get loads of ideas for places to visit.