My Wild School

The realisation modern children are spending less time outdoors has emphasised the importance of natural play with forest schools leading the way. A child’s time at school offers multiple opportunities to engage with nature; outdoor classroom sessions, free play, and forest school clubs.

At South Street School in Bedminster, the My Wild City team has been working to slowly transform several areas of the school into exciting wild spaces for both children and wildlife to enjoy. Natural play features are being incorporated into several areas across the school; long grass margins around playing fields, annual wildflower patches at entrances and an exciting forest school garden. As well as exciting places for children to explore, the school now offers a richer environment for wildlife, with an increasing number of wildflowers to support pollinators, long grass suitable for reptiles and woodland type areas for nesting birds and hibernating frogs.

To create the wonderful outdoor classroom we teamed up with Rolls Royce and local volunteers, transforming a once overused woodland into an exciting forest school garden. Designed with and supported by Earth Timber Stone, the process took three days of clearing, digging and building to create this natural play space. 

Once the site had been prepared, the construction could begin with a living willow tunnel, twig and leaf stores and a raised pond built. Several large areas were planted with a mix of woodland and shade tolerant species including woodland bulbs to restore the ground vegetation which had been lost to trampling. Planted into raised mounds of soil and edged with large branches, these areas help shape the site and should put any plants safely out of harm from heavy feet.

With all the features combined, this woodland habitat ideal for natural play and gives every child the opportunity to connect with nature on a regular basis.