Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School

Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School


We had a wonderful day yesterday for the long awaited Derbyshire Forest School Day 2022! Thank you so much for everyone who attended and thanks for much to all the wonderful organisations who helped us to have such a fun, refreshing, inspiring and reinvigorating day! Keep up to date with all Derbyshire Forest School happenings at

PS - Let us know how your oak trees get on!

Huge thanks to
Mount Cook Adventure Centre for a brilliant site, workshop and the finest jacket potatoes in the land! And to those below for great workshops -
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Peak District National Park
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Steve Greaves Outdoors
Feral Science Ltd
Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School
Emma Dawson Varughese
Class 1 love their Forest school sessions. They have been making Hedgehog collages and collecting evidence of our resident Badgers on a wildlife camera Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School
✨We have a new outdoor holiday club ✨for the Holiday Activities and Food programme Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School is waiting to help your child cook outside 🧑‍🍳, use tools, play, and most importantly, make sure they have a great time! 🎉
Book now using the links below.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Staffordshire Moorlands Huddle
Are any of our customers looking for Easter holiday activities ?
If so why not have some fantastic fun at Forest School with Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School
Taking nature connection to places people hang out. Blue sky in Macclesfield town.

A little bird told us we've been listed recently by Progressive Education, an organisation championing different approaches towards inspiring and engaging learners in and out of school.
If you are wondering whether to join us through the coldest months, or questioning whether your child benefits from forest school take a look at this organisation's website. Hopefully you will see how we all fit together to develop confident, creative and beautiful people with a love of learning drawn from their natural world.

Thankyou for the mention.

Leek groups: please check your email for information about today's session which cannot go ahead. Email sent yesterday.
Even the Flash weather camera has no power and that is a more accurate forecast then the Met Office. We won't be in the woods tomorrow. The roads from here to there (Buxton) looks dangerous and sometimes it is to right to listen to Mother and stay home. At casa Greenwood we will feed the birds from our doorstep and let the woods remain wild and free.

Schools and groups wait to hear from us please from tomorrow x
Nice quick read covering the benefits of providing from public access spaces. Working from community sites has always been hugely important to Greenwood CIC - we know that when people visit us and learn the value of their forests they are more likely to care for those places. Whether it's litter picking, volunteering and conservation work or knowing the names of the trees and helping to plant a few; we notice the positive attachment to place through our work evidenced by the stories those communities we work with tell. And it's a lot of fun.

Very quiet, a brief quietness returns to the woodland! during last Thursday's Forest School session (I was covering for a very poorly Leader from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School ) : it's always the same! as soon as the water is boiling, there's a surge migration from all the activity station Carinal Points about the woods, followed by a hush as the hot chocolate is passed around the fire circle to the seated young folks AND then there's the watching of the first two 'up' to toast their marshmallows, that anticipation of yet another sugar hit! AND then, all done, the gradual hum ever-increases as they disappear back to continue whatever they'd left behind - Happy Days!
FREE in Buxton starting tomorrow, the only thing you need to give is your time and we do the rest. These are fabulous sessions led by Katie and I, we will even make you a cuppa. It's not too late to grab your spot.
Running from Grin Low woods, Poole's Cavern Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School are hosting forest sessions for parents and babies. We meet every Tuesday morning for tea, sensory play and company in the forest. Bookings are open via
We have been investigating animal footprints in the snow. We think we have dog, cat and fox prints.
Info for yesterday afternoons group, this is where you can currently get a lot of outdoor gear at 50% off RRP. I’ll post in the comments below the items which we’ve purchased and are extremely happy with x
Hello, I have sent a couple of messages on messenger but I don't think they are reaching you. Please can you send me a message with your email or phone number please. Thanks 👍

Forest school providing nurture and connection to schools, vulnerable people, family groups and communities.

Operating as usual


Happy new year one and all. Super day back in the woods with this mixed-age family group who were introduced to using the 7 Principles to audit the impact of our activities on the space we spend time in every week.

Super impressed with the knowledge, retention and work ethic of this bunch aged little to big. Great to see the group back together. Pictured is the youngest, determinedly finishing clearing down our fire circle whilst one of the eldest scattered wood ash around plants beginning to bud ahead of Spring.

Thank you for rejoining us this January.


Take a look if you are 16 or above. A fab opportunity.

WANTED ❗ 16-24-year-olds that want to tackle environmental issues!

Do you know a teen who is passionate about making positive change and encouraging others to do their bit?

We're running a Wilder Youth project which could be right up their street.

The project aims to bring together and empower a group of youngsters to make positive change and is unique in that the young people will choose the focus. Staff from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will provide learning, training, and venues for events (which will be online and in person), and any other guidance the young activists need.

We’re calling out to parents, teachers, youth workers… If you know or work with a young person or youth group who you think would be interested, please share this opportunity with them and encourage them to get in touch!

The first online event runs between 4pm and 6pm next Friday, 6 January.

Find full info here 👇

Timeline photos 30/12/2022

Happy new year everyone. What a blast 2022 has been. We began hesitantly in January 2022 and can't quite believe that 12 months later we are preparing to welcome new families, community groups and schools into our wonderful world during 2023.

Bookings for groups are open via or



n. forest; woods; grove


n. a group of like persons

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, we hope you find your kin in good spirits. Merry Christmas one and all. Thank you for your support through 2022 - we look forward to seeing you in 2023.

You spend, brands donate to Greenwood Growth CIC. 20/12/2022

You spend, brands donate to Greenwood Growth CIC.

Did you know we subsidise some families so they can join us for regular sessions? This is offered to families who need the most financial support and to help us continue to be able to offer this we’ve registered Greenwood Growth CIC with , which means over 7,000 brands will now donate to us for FREE every time you use to shop with them.

These donations will help SO MUCH, so please sign up to support us – it’s completely FREE and doesn’t take long.

You spend, brands donate to Greenwood Growth CIC. Help us when you shop with 7,000+ brands. Join now.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 16/12/2022

Ice, ice, baby.

We've enjoyed a wintery ball this week with our communities and we can now say that 2022 is a wrap. Thank you everyone for joining us through this year of discovery. This week we have worked with humans in the natural world, the smallest human was 4 months and the oldest - well, we need not divulge that here.

Never have we appreciated the turning of the season's wheel more than this week where winter made a stunning appearance suspending into frozen time the beauty of the forest there, waiting to ignite awe, wonder and to create belonging.

The week has provided opportunities for debate, discussion, involvement in identifying risk and making sensible decisions that keep us safe. It has also provided opportunities for togetherness, sharing, kindness and being in our spectacular natural world. We've spent time in the foundations of effective and supportive community: warmth, food, drink, shelter. Stripped back to what people need to thrive.

Our Yule wish shall remain a secret, and so should yours, but as a hint it is likely to involve more moments of gentle connection that build bridges lasting into 2023.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 12/12/2022

Just look at the view! I was on the road early this morning and had to pull in to a lay-by on my way to Buxton. Gleaming. On arrival in the woods I was glad to have a flask of warm tea that not only kept me warm on the inside, but that came in handy to defrost the ice gripped gate lock. Once into the woods I was greeted by an old, old forest very still and very quiet. I set to work stacking wood, kindling and sorted everything needed to cook up a mini Christmas dinner. Squirrels and Robins kept me company whilst I got busy. Well, the Robins kept me company, the Squirrels looked slightly menacing so I made myself all big to deter them from getting too close - they have a habit of running off with our food in these woods.

Our group arrived and, led by Alicia, followed a trail of stockings filled with treasures let go by the forest - nests, feathers, wasp nests - the sorts of things not so easy to spot in the leafier Spring and Summer.

The morning was spent building a Bogloo, which is a castle made of bog so frozen it becomes this sort of gappy ice brick; keeping small people warm; heating food; and playing a game entirely new to me: Ghost Cow. The rules appeared to be that I was a Ghost Cow (which is not the ghost of a cow) who chased through the woods but had to get in an invisible car part way through and stop at the imaginary traffic lights whilst children ran away and hid.

It was a good day.

Play Wild 11/12/2022

Play Wild

It is our last Play Wild of 2022 tomorrow at Poole's Cavern & Country Park. We are planning a guided walk through the woods to discover gifts from the forest. Little ones can expect to find real woodland treasures in stockings along our route. When we arrive at base camp there will be 'piggies-in-blankets-in-buns', mince pies and a warm drink. Everyone can make a bundle of reindeer food for Christmas Eve.

Hot water bottles will be available - please bring your own ready filled if you can 😊

If everyone feels like it we will play a while before cold toes set in. Please aim to arrive by 9.45 so the big kids - Lorna, Alicia and Frag don't get cold in the car park.

Play Wild Play Wild in nature's playground... for children 0-5 years plus their main carer

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 09/12/2022

This week has been many things, marked by the last full moon of 2022, the aptly named Cold Moon. There has been a lot to balance at home for everyone involved in Greenwood too, and it hasn't been easy to decide how we manage taking care of ourselves, and those in our communities.

Collectively we have ridden the phase and are looking forward to another week of crisp, frosty, maybe even snowy days.

Sub-zero temperatures have pushed some of our youngest participants to the limit and many people have (re)discovered the pure joy of a hot water bottle on cold feet.

Thank you everyone for joining us and have a restful weekend.

Mobile uploads 08/12/2022

This is one of the many beautiful moments we have been fortunate to have shared with young people today. There will be plenty more as time ticks on.


On still, sub-zero days our beautiful world glistens and we see the familiar anew. We are expecting this icey spell to continue for a few days, which means keeping our groups moving with a few pauses for being together and noticing the patterns left behind by frost.

If you are coming to see us this week in Leek, Horton, Bosley or Bollington please wear extra layers and remember your hats, scarves, woolly socks and gloves.


Some say Santa became Santa after being taught to be kind by the tiny forest animals who raised him as a child. Taking only what was needed the child Santa shared the rest with the wrens, squirrels, mice and voles. Clothed in green, the adult Santa made a promise to the wise owl of the woods to pass on the same kindness to others. Once a year with a head dress of ivy and clothed in green, Santa passes through villages, towns and cities wherever people believe and leaves small gifts for children to discover. These gifts are often something to be shared.

Well, that's what I think anyway.


Forest school is a lot of fun for everyone involved. Especially our Practitioners as evidenced in this lovely video shared with us by a parent who visits regularly with her small person.

We are currently looking for volunteers to support sessions on a weekly basis. We can provide enhanced DBS checks, cover your expenses and include you in relevant CPD.

Volunteering is a great way to discover forest school, or if you already have some experience, a good way to find your way back into this unique world of work.

Please get in touch via [email protected] if you are interested.


Whatever you are doing today please make time to find those special people in your life and do something with them, for them, for you and fill your emotional cup full to overflowing. Tell them you love them and if words don't come easily - well then - show them.

Pictured are a nana, a mummy, a busy toddler and a tiny baby who strolled out into the woods with us to create a foraged wreath - together.

Followed by Horlicks, mincepies and a story. A perfect way to begin any morning ahead of a walk into the rest of the day.


It is National Tree Week and this year we are reminded of the special relationship that exists between humans and trees. We breathe in oxygen that trees pump out, and trees absorb the carbon dioxide we release.

Humans and trees share structural similarity: the branching patterns of our lungs resemble many patterns found in the canopy and root systems of trees.

No two humans are alike, and neither are two trees. All are unique. Humans and trees rely on one another for support and both thrive when we live in communities.

Some trees become especially important to humans, marking either place or memory or a spiritual place for gathering. The tree pictured here is one such tree that has enjoyed a lot of interaction with humans over the couple of hundred years it has stood and it bares the names of many who have enjoyed it's shelter.

This National Tree Week we have planted lots of saplings and young trees in schools, community woodlands and fields. My hope is that amongst those there is a special tree for future generations.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 28/11/2022

In Mouse's Wood this morning we discovered that a wily fox had fallen foul of the tricky woods and in a rush through the brash had lost its tail. Fortunately, our Practitioners found it and so began a game of catch the tail. Great fun to see young children warming up by running fast up and down the long since abandoned kilns, around roots and branches and trunks giggling as they went and pausing to sniff the air along their trails.

In other spaces stick tails were made and a foxes den built. when the time was right we stopped for chocolate fondue together and in the silence listened to the birds in the now bare trees.

We appreciate everyone who makes it out to the woods in November. And we are looking forward to sharing the run up to Christmas with you all.


We are delighted to offer FREE festive crafts 🌲 Wednesday 30 November, 9.30 - 10.30 🌲 from Teggnose Woods, Langley.

Call in before you begin your walk and learn how to make a beautiful foraged wreath for your front door. We will even make you a brew.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 21/11/2022

Thank you everyone for turning out on one of those November days that's simply put: damp and then very wet but enjoyable with the gift of a little light, you've just got to make it first.

The air in Grinlow Woods smelt snowy and the three gentlemen who pass by whilst I set up early asked, not for the first time, whether I was making fondue for the little ones. I wasn't, but we did enjoy a short treasure hunt for things in the forest that are red, like a fox, before huddling together for cuddles, fireside craft, warm drinks and s'mores.

Wonderful to welcome a new family into our space too.

Next week I think our red fox will have been busy hiding treasures for young children to find plus early morning fondue for curious passers-by.

If you'd like to join this beautiful little group please remember to book


We hope the sapling
planted today
by the young child, here
one waaaay bigger than she,
will also be hugged - one day

by the child

when adult enough to
reminisce about the time
she dug
a hole
popped the now tree in.

We love showing people around our fabulous little school - it was great to meet two local families today. Reception 2023 places must be applied for by 15th January so there’s still a bit more time. If you’d like to come and visit us please just call the office to make an appointment.


Time feels different when working through the seasons delivering forest school, it ebbs and flows and somehow becomes counted in leaves emerging, birds nesting and textures under feet and palms changing through the seasons. It feels unusual to be sharing the image below of a meadow covered in Buttercups but worthwhile because it's a meadow in Leek that one of our groups walk by weekly.

Our small organisation has been delivering sessions for children in Leek for five years. Sometimes people are surprised that we do this from Public land rather than private woodland but, you see, at our core we are a grassroots organisation with a desire to link people to green places close to where they live and in doing so open up the edges of towns to people who might not otherwise spend time in those places. This builds a custodianship and legacy of care. It also provides for meaningful employment, most of whom live in Leek, close to the park itself.

Ladderedge has provided for the facilitation of positive experiences for people from all walks of life age 2 - 74 over the last couple of years through community groups and green social prescribing. We enjoy contributing to the story of how a place can be utilised by the community, for the community. Long may it last.

Hello everyone. Great news, we have been awarded the Green Flag for this year. The report from the judges was very complimentary. Thank you to all our volunteers for their contiued hard work and thank you to our responsible Park users for keeping the grounds relatively dog poo free and pretty clear of litter. Please be careful as we are aware that again sections are getting muddy and slippery.


Our Friday baby and toddler session is fully booked again this week so we have started a waiting list. If you can't attend please get in touch so we can offer the space to someone else.

Today I spent too much time trying to find turnips....who knows what turnips have to do with forest school but it makes sense to the little ones and that's what matters. So tomorrow we'll find turnips in the forest 🙈, listen to the enormous turnip story and eat soup of the turnip variety. And most importantly we'll follow the children's interests and probably do something else entirely. 🍄🌳

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 09/11/2022

What is inside a leaf? Lots of colours and with the forest school approach in mind of linking interests at home with what the natural world provides we had a go at a simple, sensory-tastic, nature-connection rich, science.

Looking around from my vantage point I observed children searching for and exploring habitats, building benches, scaling trees and helping to cook a feast (thank you Donna for the apples).

The day kept Vicky Bourner, Alicia Rose and I very, very busy.


Vintage forest school this morning over in Grinlow Woods creating little houses for Mouses. Leaf sprinkling and leaf preserving. A beautiful session ending with hot chocolate around the fire.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 04/11/2022

We follow patterns through the year set by the rhythmic cycle of seasons. The steady clonk of acorns dropping, sprinkle of leaves falling and mist hanging confirms Autumn is well and truly here. In response we gather together for company, warmth, food and begin to create familiar routines for shorter, colder days. Thank you everyone for re-joining our sessions this week and if you are discovering us for the first time we look forward to getting to know you better.

Here are a few images from the last week showing art, belonging, discovery, sharing, awe and wonder.


If you're reading this and have enjoyed anything we've done in Buxton please take a moment to nominate Buxton Civic Association for this award. Thank you.

5 days, 5 charities, £5,000 each – nominate now!
In recognition of the COP 27 climate conference, Benefact Group are giving five environmental or climate charities £5,000 each.

Please nominate us here (it’s really simple and quick) 🙏👇👇👇

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 31/10/2022

Our small and busy team spent the day together engaged in a spot of CPD over at Mount Cook Adventure Centre. We practiced primitive fire lighting, discovered what is in our water 😲, travelled the world through poetry, made fire strikers and I shared a tale about our journey so far delivering forest school in a field. Lovely to meet up with familiar faces and to make new friends.

Thank you to everyone at Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service for the organisation and support. We feel ready to put new ideas into practice, especially giant knitting as we continue our wanderings through November/December.


September is a distant memory and October nearly finished. We've enjoyed an epic Autumn with all of our forest school communities, thank you for making Greenwood an exciting, energising place to spend time. We have been busy beginning to build a lovely little Blog of musings on things we love that we would like to share with you and hope you enjoy

Bookings for home education groups, family sessions, stay and play, Christmas 'pop-up's, after school club and NEW adult sessions up until January 2023 are now available to book via our website

FREE winter craft sessions can be booked via

See you in November. With love, fronds and mossy toes, the team.

Photos from Bosley St Mary's CE Primary School's post 22/10/2022

There is an incredible backstory to the creation of this table that spans over a year. I'll share it at Derbyshire Forest School Day on 31 October.

Now, though, it's just to celebrate process over outcome, resilience, self belief, problem solving and so much more.


I think every school we work with has an area now for their forest school 'stuff', whether it's a shelf in a classroom, a special tin for special sticks, huge trees on walls or a space for muddy boots. But I do like this little homage to the humble hedgehog and mighty badger. Gorgeous work.

Class 1 love their Forest school sessions. They have been making Hedgehog collages and collecting evidence of our resident Badgers on a wildlife camera Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School


Session cancellation: I'm at Teggsnose and with the 2nd opinion of our lovely ranger the session this morning is cancelled. High winds and strong gusts set to increase through the day makes it unsafe to meet. Those booked will be refunded.


What a gorgeous morning to spend on a little site development. It's wonderful to visit the schools we work and it turns out we aren't the only beautiful creatures who like to see what's going on down in the woods. Look what our trail camera recorded over the weekend. There are going to be some very excited children when they see the pictures later this week.


It is Forest School Day today and we join 7300 people across the UK celebrating being in the natural world. We think you are all amazing and we love spending time with you every week.

We would also love to hear from you with words or a picture or a sound, so here is a question:

"I love forest school because..."

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 12/10/2022

This Autumn we have supported our groups to investigate the natural world, bringing people gradually further away from 'stuff' and closer to the intention of being in the woods. We have tuned totally into our environment and emersed ourselves within its enveloping layers. Today was that perfect type of October day when the leaves have begun to fall, retaining their shape and colour: perfect play material for "here today, gone tomorrow" art. Many hands helped to create this rippling stripe through the leaf litter, a mindful group expression of WOW.

Elsewhere giant pumpkins were carved into Autumn bowls, fungi was discovered, rope swings built, juggling skittles whittled, fire lit and spiced apple juice shared. A pleasure to hold the time and space for people aged four through to way older to reconnect to awe and wonder alongside Practitioners Alicia and Vicky.

Simply put, we believe in the power of the forest to help people connect, discover their best and feel well.

Human beings are inherently social creatures. As far back as history can trace, we have existed in social groups and when we are separated from our tribe there are usually serious consequences. Belonging to a social group gives us a sense of identity; we need meaningful connections with others.

· Friendship creates a feeling of belonging, purpose, increased happiness, self-worth and confidence.

· Time together in the natural world restores strained relationships and helps people to feel understood.

· Being physically active, together, alleviates depression and anxiety symptoms and decreases feelings of loneliness.

Videos (show all)

Join the pumpkin fun with your little ones and learn to play the forest school way.Tomorrow morning:- Horton St. Michael...
We've been doing a lot of nature journalling at Bosley school. Nothing formal, recording what you want when you want and...
Sometimes at work we roll like this and children drop from the canopy like giant caterpillars. This short film has no na...
**Turn your sound up, sheer joy***Sara and I (Lorna) are walking a marathon and, a bit like in 'Strictly' when celebs st...
Boy meets rock, LaterBoy meets tree.They didn't say much, But,It didn't matter.
Bookings are open for our holiday clubs running in Bollington and Horton. Thanks to HAF free places are available at Hor...
I checked in with the Buxton weather witch (she is very helpful) and over a spot of forest brew she told me tomorrow wil...
Drumming in the woods
Christmas pasta and beans happened 🌲on a dismal day when it stayed dark we used light to explore the hidden places and w...
We love it when our young people bring their passion and ideas to the forest. Thank you 'J' for introducing us to Nurbis...
I'd like to think these boys were celebrating 'T' successfully lighting and maintaining the Kelly Kettle today in Leek, ...



Forest school. Nurture. Family.




Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm

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