Woodland Pre-school Group Launches in Black Park

A new outdoor toddler group for young adventurers is set to launch at Black Park Country Park this month (Sept 2013), offering a unique mix of child-led nature and craft activities. Tots in the Woods aims to develop and enrich young children’s minds through immersing them in their natural environment. The woodland toddler group – which also teaches under fives the long lost art of bushcraft – is the brain-child of tots-in-the-woods-outdoor-toddler-group-3Steve Sutherland, an experienced outdoor instructor who believes that all children (and their parents & carers) should be able to have fun together by simply getting back to nature.

“We’re really excited about what’s in store” comments Steve, “we’ll be based in a wonderful purpose-built bushcraft camp inside the park, which has lots of ‘wow’ features. Each week we’ll have a camp fire and get up to all sorts of fun things, like natural crafts, playing in our fabulous mud kitchen and singing, not to mention cooking delicious treats on the camp fire. We’ll be offering the sessions every Thursday during term time to begin, but hope to open up more days as interest grows”.

tots-in-the-woods-outdoor-toddler-group-1Steve is passionate about playing and learning in the outdoors, and believes that the group will provide an opportunity for toddlers to strengthen their relationship with nature whilst developing new practical skills.

He adds: “Today’s children have fewer opportunities to engage with the natural world than their parents did, despite the fact that there is clear evidence that it is essential for our physical and emotional health. We hope to play our part in helping to redress this imbalance whilst having a lot of fun along the way”.

tots-in-the-woods-outdoor-toddler-group-7Steve, an experienced outdoor instructor, overseas expedition leader & Forest School practitioner played a key role in the development of award-winning forest adventure company Go Ape, including their course at Black Park Country Park. Since then he has set up a Forest School and bushcraft camp in his native Somerset, which offers a similar group for pre-school adventurers. It was the success of this group which inspired Steve to start offering the group at new locations, starting with Black Park Country Park.

For further information about Tots in the Woods or to book, visit

tots-in-the-woods-outdoor-toddler-group-6THE DATES FOR UPCOMING TERMS ARE:

Autumn 2013
Thursday 12th September – Thursday 5th December 
(excludes 31st October for half term, 12 days in total)

Spring 2014

Thursday 9th January – Thursday 3rd April
 (excludes 20th February for half term, 12 days in total)

Summer 2014

Thursday 24th April – Thursday 17th July 
(excludes Thursday 29th May for half term, 12 days in total)


Children aged 1 – 5 years £7.50 per session 
(no charge for accompanying adults or siblings under 18 months old)

Please note that pre-booking is essential!

About Forest School, Bushcraft and Outdoor Learning
• Forest School is a type of outdoor education in which children (or adults) visit forests/woodlands, learning personal, social and technical skills. It has been defined as “an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment”. It is rapidly growing in popularity due to the positive impact it can have on personal development.
• Bushcraft is about surviving and thriving in the natural environment, and the acquisition of skills and knowledge to do so. Many of these skills were well known to our ancient predecessors, and are still practised today amongst aboriginal and native peoples around the world.