From making natural dyes to learning how to identify wildflowers and fungi, the children of Marshwood Primary School in Dorset enjoy educational activities amongst the trees of Harmshay.

This patch of woodland, which neighbours Babers Farm, was bought by the CRT in 2021 thanks to a grant from the Government’s Countryside Stewardship scheme.

The local primary school uses the woodland for its forest school sessions. Shelley Strawbridge, a teacher and qualified Forest School Leader at Marshwood Primary, tells us what activities the children, aged 4 to 11, have been enjoying in the woods recently:

“Years Five and Six had a really wild day in the summer. They spent the whole school day in the forest and we cooked our own lunch over the fire, such as bread, wild garlic butter, pizza and popcorn.

“The children also learnt how to identify wildflowers including orchids. 

“We made water filters using plastic bottles and natural resources such as charcoal, soil, stone and grass to filter muddy water from the stream. It worked really well.

“This autumn, we have carved our very own fungi mushrooms out of wood and the children have learnt to identify different species of fungi. 

“We also picked blackberries and made our own natural dye. We used acorns and elastic bands to make ties on material and then dyed it in the blackberry dye. They came out beautifully.”

What amazing activities. We look forward to hearing what the children get involved in during this new school year. 

PUBLISHED: 9th November 2023 

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