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Ely nursery applies to open forest school in natural setting





An Ely nursery is hoping to open a new forest school to teach children to care for the environment and learn in a “natural setting”.

The forest school would offer spaces for children up to five years old, and would create a place for “play, exploration and supported risk taking”.

The site in Willow Walk where an Ely nursery wants to establish a forest school. Image: Google
The site in Willow Walk where an Ely nursery wants to establish a forest school. Image: Google

The plans have been put forward by Cathedral View Childcare, which runs an existing nursery in the city.

The nursery said the new forest school would be the first of its kind in Ely.

The forest school is proposed to be created on land off of Willow Walk. The site would be run as an extension to the existing nursery, but the plans also state that additional sessions would also be offered for children who do not attend the nursery.

The nursery has said staff would be trained specifically in running a forest school, and that the site would use solar power to reduce its environmental impact.

In planning documents submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council, it said the forest school would help to teach children to “respect, care and understand nature”, which it said was “key to ensuring the next generation commit to greener, more eco-friendly choices”.

It explained that children would learn about the plants and nature, and would also do their own planting on a small allotment, with the fruit and vegetables that are grown proposed to be donated to food banks.

The plans said the children would also learn about reducing their own carbon footprint.

It added that forest school would also help children to explore and take risks.

The site in Willow Walk where an Ely nursery wants to establish a forest school. Image: Google
The site in Willow Walk where an Ely nursery wants to establish a forest school. Image: Google

It said: “The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually.

“It creates a safe, non-judgmental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks.

“Forest school inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it.

“Their approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real work issues, building self-belief and resilience.

“The belief that risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them.

“Forest school therefore helps participants to become healthy, resilient, creative, and independent learners.”



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