Be Inspired

The Forest Pathways funding is part of a £10 million pot made available by the Department of Education (DfE) to fund a ‘Children & Nature’ programme aimed at giving people better access to nature for their health and wellbeing, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

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Will you go down to the woods today?

Increasing numbers of Bradford classrooms will be expanding out into the woodlands thanks to a major Government investment in outdoor education.

Get Out More, a specialist community interest company based in the district, has successfully secured national funding for a three-year programme to enrol 25 schools on its new Forest Pathways programme.

Get Out More photo (Medium)The initiative will explore some of the barriers preventing schools in more deprived areas becoming part of the national Forest Schools movement – a pioneering programme that encourages primary and secondary school pupils to access local green spaces, where they can discover, explore and learn through engaging outdoor activities such as games, crafts and active play.

“A number of schools in the area are already part of the Forest Schools movement but this funding will enable us to spread the word much more widely.” explained Annie Berrington, managing director at Get Out More.

“The plan is for us to do one day a week at three different schools each term. Each school will work with a Forest School practitioner and get a series of dedicated sessions around the many benefits of outdoor learning.”

“Importantly, this is very much about helping schools to really see the possibilities and then to use their feedback to inform a programme that is sustainable in the long term.”

Forest Pathways has been widely welcomed, according to Annie, and is already generating excitement in the first cohort of schools to be enrolled.

“The teachers we’ve spoken to so far are really excited about how they can use outdoor learning on a regular basis to develop things like communications and social skills.

“Traditionally Forest Schools has been seen very much as a primary school initiative but we are already getting really positive feedback from teachers in years 7 and 8 who are finding that they can bring elements of the curriculum such as maths and science into their outdoor sessions.”

In addition to encouraging more schools to engage with the Forest Schools initiative, the pathways project will focus on creating a core of trained and fully accredited teachers across the Bradford area.

Annie said: “Engaging pupils is obviously important but they will inevitably move up through the school and leave.

“The teachers are the resource that will stay, which is why we’re also offering the opportunity for them to gain accreditation as Forest School practitioners as part of this investment.”

The Forest Pathways funding is part of a £10 million pot made available by the Department of Education (DfE) to fund a ‘Children & Nature’ programme aimed at giving people better access to nature for their health and wellbeing, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

The project has three distinct strands – Growing Care Farming, Nature Friendly Schools and Community Forest Woodland Outreach – which are being jointly overseen by a partnership of DfE, Defra and Natural England.


Full details of how to enrol on Forest Pathways are available at https://www.getoutmorecic.co.uk

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The Forest Pathways funding is part of a £10 million pot made available by the Department of Education (DfE) to fund a ‘Children & Nature’ programme aimed at giving people better access to nature for their health and wellbeing, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

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