Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School

Forest school providing compassionate support and nature connection to people of all ages.

Operating as usual

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 18/11/2023

Ahh, a gorgeous morning spent at Nottingham Trent University with beautiful humans doing great work. It felt good to represent our CIC sharing learning with folk interested to explore their passion for creating change where they live. Returning to East Midlands FEN - Forest Education Network always feels a little bit like going home for a while for various reasons, it's a truly welcoming and inspiring community packed with people living the Forest School ethos with every breath many of whom have influenced my life leading Greenwood Growth to exist. The biggest lesson from today: believe in what you do, and do it with truly awesome people. And Gnomes, especially Gnomes.


When we hide little things for children and adults to find it brings them close to nature. We have to lean in, look, focus, reach, untangle, experience and curiosity piqued we usually ask a few questions that begin with what, how, why.

Sometimes we also ask for help and that's another wonderful connection made.

Forest Schools is a reflective practice and here is a beautiful thing to think about. That by the end of this week Caroline and I will have been supported by a small army of positive, proactive, kind, skilled and generous people helping us to deliver the work we care about in our community. Whether it's over the phone, passing by in the street, working or volunteering with us, or joining a group. We appreciate everything you beautiful people do to keep us excited and motivated. Thank you all.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 15/11/2023

Blissful day spent back at Tegg's Nose Country Park with our monthly Home Ed meet up. This place has long held my heart and it felt special to open the woods up for our families after a rest. The ground and dead wood thanked us for fewer feet and hands and we noticed animal tracks, tonnes of fungi and lots and lots of beautiful leaves. A day of building a library for a rabbit to find, learning animal tracks and making the classic chocolate orange. Thankyou for joining today.


It's not your presents we need, it's your presence.

We thought you'd appreciate a few dates for the diary, y'know, places you can find us doing Christmas stuff over the next few weeks.

Wreath making with The Thomas Theyer Foundation, 28 November.

Horton St. Michael's Christmas Fayre, 30 November with the real Santa.

Play Wild's Christmas Party, Buxton Civic Association 11 December.

Wreath making and Christmas lights walk through in the show caves, Buxton Civic Association, 11 December

Lichen & Fern stay n play at Horton St. Michael's, 14 December.

Book via or


Well, we've had a lovely time this morning watching the wind loop the loop around Buxton. Always best to be at the location before deciding the best course of action. We will be back next week.

Unfortunately, after much deliberation; we have taken the decision to cancel todays Play Wild session due to the high winds. We hope to see everyone next week in glorious sunshine. Please pass it on to anyone who may not get this message.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 10/11/2023

Today Beth and I encouraged Pott Shrigley Church School to play with sticks, then play with words as a response to the shape, texture, smell, uses of the wood. Poems emerged, built to weave across the ground around trunks. Some words leapt up and became ink on paper. Other poems remained private. Individual words held dens together. Some words we knew and others were made. Pure, heartwarming magic.

The poems will become a book made from the trees.


I am wondering whether amidst our Followers, or friends of friends, we have any skilled hedge layers willing to offer a little time to one of our locations? I have two small projects involving Beech, and although I am happy to use my novice skills on my own hedgerow at home I feel a bit daunted by tackling this project on my own. If you think you can help in ST13 please get in touch. Thank you.


Did you wake up to discover a blanket of leaves covering every surface this morning? Where I live the roads and pavements took on golden hues from the Great Big Lime Drop. Everywhere looks a little Oz-like; the kids and I followed the Yellow Brick Road all the way to the start of our days singing a terrible made up song that made us all laugh.

Discover what to do with this gift from nature with your little people and I over in the woods next to Horton St. Michael's First School. I'll sort you out with a warm drink and something tasty to eat and open the full on Autumnal forest for play, the Forest School way.


This is Southern Polypody, or Polypodium cambricum meaning 'many feet/found in Wales'. This is one of a few clusters growing in one of the beautiful woodlands I work from. It favours lime-rich environments and is an indicator plant for temperate rainforest of which there are a few remnants in the UK.


In a cosy, fireside session this morning in Grinlow Woods with Buxton Civic Association our little ones helped to make dropped scones whilst their adults created tiny felt mushrooms to take home.

The recipe, requested by parents, that I use for dropped scones is:

75g each self raising and wholewheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
at least a teaspoon of mixed spice (I blend my own)
110g butter
1 egg, beat
Splash of milk if needed

Mix all dry ingredients together
Add the egg
If the mix looks too dry, add a splash of milk

Bring together into a dough and leave to rest (the drive from Leek to Buxton is long enough). Roll to a thickness of no more than 1cm and cut into discs.

Fry in oil until crisp (not black) on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

Ideally, wait until there is torrential rain for best results.


This beautiful fungi is called Frosty Funnel (I think) discovered by my boy on 'Nutkin Island' a few days ago where we softly picked our way through thick leaf litter hunting for mushrooms. We found lots and stayed a while observing their form. George said "on this planet people eat mushrooms, but the earth needs them", well, these ones aren't eaten to my knowledge but even if it could be picked and cooked up even our plentiful edibles deserve a chance to be left alone to do their thing. Perhaps it's just me but I prefer to look, learn and leave them be them be. We have plenty of food choice generally and there isn't always a need for us to collect and conquer all we discover.

At home I've been cultivating a leaf pile for years, each year another layer of 'litter' and now it's pretty deep and undisturbed. Last year one beautiful fungi appeared in the middle of it. Last week there were four the same. Maybe next year there will be more. All of which is preamble, because....

..tomorrow at Play Wild I'm looking forward to getting cosy with our tiny explorers and crafting 'shrooms by the fire. If you haven't booked yet, head over to Buxton Civic Association and follow the links to confirm your spot.


After a quiet week recharging with family, in the blissful middle of the mountains, I'm looking forward to returning to our forest communities; and as mycorrhizas do so shall we connect to our natural world, reminding ourselves we are part of it.

Join us for sessions Lichen & Fern, Bramble, and Acorn as we journey into the woods and words. Book via


This will be a beautiful evening in a venue popular with many of our families, the Brick Corner supporting a wonderful charity close to our hearts, The Thomas Theyer Foundation. Book early to grab a place.

Wreath making evening with Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School at the Brick Corner 28th November, 7pm.

Join us for a festive evening of wreath making, seasonal cheer & fun. Leave with a handmade wreath for your door made by you

We are so excited to welcome you to this relaxed and friendly event where you will produce your own door wreath to make your Christmas extra special this year. With instruction by Lorna Stoddart Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School and support from friends at Thomas Theyer we will be producing fresh door wreaths using the traditional natural moss method resulting in a lush and long lasting design to see you through the festive season.

The workshop includes all fresh materials to produce your wreath and choice of decorative adornments to suit your taste, a friendly & fun tutorial with plenty of help. Festive treats will be available in the unique atmosphere of our hosts the Brick Corner.

Perfect for a seasonal reunion with friends or family while learning something new, and even better the proceeds go straight to local organisations working in your community, Thomas Theyer Foundation and Greenwood Growth CIC, who support young people and adult wellbeing through outdoor activities.

So you have a great time, take home something beautiful & give back to such a great cause. Tickets are limited and available on the link below


Happy half term forest friends. During a week in which many farewells have been said and tears shed, it is surely faces as smiley as this one that remind us why we do what we do.


Whilst some things begin to change within our little CIC, other aspects remain almost the same. Families are very welcome to gather up at Teggsnose Woods next month to reconnect with one another and the forest, which has been resting since mid-July enjoying much needed recovery.


I'm facilitating a workshop as part of the annual East Midlands FEN - Forest Education Network talking about operating within the CIC model, warts n all. In a season of change, where we are gathering and refocusing in readiness for 2024 it'll be an exercise in knowledge sharing; and possibly cathartic.

Happily I'm alongside some great people doing inspirational stuff across parks, forests, schools, colleges, universities in the area. If you're Derbyshire / Nottinghamshire / Leicestershire way get yourself booked on and say hello.

We are back in Nottingham this year - looking forward to a busy and interesting morning. Everyone welcome!
We are looking for people to join the FEN committee. If you are interested and have a few hours free, a few times a year, we’d love to hear from you.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 21/10/2023

Guess which child, pictured, turned to me whilst passing firewood and said "I have beautiful hair don't I?" beore wandering off to have a private party in a large muddy puddle. Simply perfect.

Looking forward to more toddler mayhem on Monday with Buxton Civic Association as we play wild and follow the group's emerging interest in mysterious mycelium.


A little while ago Sara and I recreated a human Baobab tree with a group of children. We were traveling the world through trees and stopped off in Africa motivated to do so by the children's beautiful, inquisitive minds. Our bodies were the hollow trunk, our legs the roots, our arms the boughs. After a while of sitting we turned and got inside the tree for a short while enjoying being together. Stumbling across this fab charity - just look at what they do - brought back a very happy memory.
Growing trees from seed to sapling is glorious and something I try to bring to our groups: toddlers to grandparents and every age in between. A single plant, a mini tree nursery or something more substantial all contribute in the end and show us how to care.


We have crazy wind gusts forecast and having spoken to the Ranger at Teggsnose we are following advice and not going out in the woods today. I'm so sad for all of our families. Much love to you.

With strong, gusty winds forecast for most
of today, please be careful when exploring our countryside sites particularly in woodland areas.


Tomorrow is our new(ish) monthly meet up for home ed families. Meeting at one of our favourite public places, Teggsnose Woods. We plan to investigate slime and nurture the things we love in these woodlands most of all. Parents / carers to stay for this one please.

With thanks to a long held relationship with Cheshire East's Rangers helping us to safely enjoy the place. I can't wait to see old friends and new alongside volunteer Nikki.

Please book via

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 16/10/2023

There's this fun-gi I know who likes to hang out in wheelie-bins. I tried to visit one day but there wasn't mushroom inside.

Dinosaurs, trolls, fungi hunting, sleeping bears, flying Conkers and plenty of time to Be. A great morning with our gentle, fun and busy Monday morning crew.

You spend, brands donate to Greenwood Growth CIC. 15/10/2023

Yay! We've raised £80.01 through Easyfundraising. That might sound like a small amount, but that's the same as 13 free places at our toddler group, or 20 bags of kindling used to toast a lot of crumpets. When we are able to keep our costs down a little through fab schemes like Easyfundraising it makes a big difference.

You can raise FREE donations for Greenwood Growth CIC EVERY time you shop online. Just use ! Over 7,000 brands will donate, including all the big names like John Lewis & Partners, BT, Expedia, Argos, ASOS, Just Eat, Uswitch and many more! Please support us:

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


Fern and Fables is a new business set up by Julie Moss providing forest school, nature connection and story telling at events Many of you will know Julie from our lovely community groups. Take a look and help spread the word.

🌿 Exciting News! We're thrilled to introduce Fern and Fables - delivering forest school, storytelling and nature connection events. We're passionate about creating community and connecting with nature and can't wait to share it with you. Join us on this incredible journey! 🎉🍄

BCA - A small charity with a big mission - Buxton Civic Association 10/10/2023

Loving this article, take a read. Some of our work is featured too. Such a good feeling to work alongside Buxton Civic Association and their very awesome team in the woods each week.

BCA - A small charity with a big mission - Buxton Civic Association BCA – A small charity with a big mission Autumn 2023Posted by:Buxton Civic Association In Category: Environment, News & Events The latest edition of the Ranger Magazine Read about the BCA in the latest edition of the Ranger magazine. Words by Simon Fussell Photos by Frag Last The Ranger Magazine ....

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 09/10/2023

A group of ladies worked tremendously hard this afternoon in the middle of the woods continuing to put benches together. Logs hauled, mauled, split, smoothed, drilled, whittled and turned into something to be proud of. New tools used, knots learned. A busy and physical time spent doing under the watchful gaze of our resident Tawny owl.


Lots of our work is kinda grass roots stuff coming straight from the the community, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Lots of different things are part of communities, and schools significantly so. We've had a gorgeous few weeks gently gliding into October with the Primary schools we work with and we've watched young children make connections with self, others, and the natural world. When we provide children, and their teaching staff, the time, place and space to play, communicate and be together we create a positive and strong foundation from which future brilliance shines.

In tiny acorns, might oaks do grow. Happy weekend one and all.


Our beautiful group, Lichen & Fern, for babies, toddlers and their carers is tomorrow from 10 - 11.30. Recently, the children who attend Horton St. Michael's school discovered a little lost Hedgehog and it was taken to a local rescue centre, so we thought we'd have a bit of Hedgy-Hoggy fun whilst exploring Autumn's falling leaves.

Remember to book your place folks.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 02/10/2023

Imagine if Autumn hues were all of the colours of the rainbow, what would the woods look like then?

That, and father and daughter hand prints made together in a special place reminiscent of paleontological cave art still being discovered in deep caves in France.

Leaf crowns made; stories shared; Conkers drilled and rolled and divided up; and squashed into soapy suds.

A brilliant session for the community to come together, with thanks to Buxton Civic Association and a new volunteer, Nina, supporting from Poole's Cavern & Country Park



The Conker symbolises many things, this week I'm going with nostalgia, playfulness, magic and potential. Inside a single Conker (yeh, yeh, Horse Chestnut) is a life force capable of generating an entirely new tree full of nuts. Our Conkers were mixed into a stunning potion in which The Lady of the Woods (Betula alba Pendula, or Silver Birch), met The Grizzled Old Man of the Woods (Quercus petraea, or Sessile Oak). As Conkers have long been used to make soap it was as if the Birch and the Oak were sharing their own bubble bath, itself a fitting end to a gorgeous, grubby week at work.

Happy weekend everyone. See you on Monday at Play Wild, to hear the tail, or tale, of The Nut Thief, and other adventures created by children. Book via Buxton Civic Association.

Photos from Buxton Civic Association's post 28/09/2023

Conservation opportunities available for 14 - 17 year olds over in Buxton. Great for skills development, environmental awareness, sustainability, and friendship. Also provides a building block towards future careers. See original post for full details.


Join us for a whole heap of fun with your little ones this Thursday morning, 10 - 11.30 at Horton St. Michael's woodland.

Suitable for all of the family and children up age 5 years.

Book via

How does your little one like to move? Are they a shuffler, a crawler, a roller. Perhaps they've just started to take those early first steps. When young children are close to the ground they notice things we towering adults simply don't and there's no better time than tree nut time to let them loose in the woods, to learn and play alongside them and discover Autumn's bounty.


At Play Wild this morning our little people took their Log Dogs for a walk up hill pausing to admire the sudden appearance of Ladybird larvae on the wooden sculptures through the woods. On arrival at base they discovered their fairy houses had been blown over by that pesky Dragon breath earlier in the week. Nevertheless the Autumn fairies had come out to play, wearing pretty little hats. Plenty of beautiful potions were created with tiny pieces of locally foraged Heather, Billberry, rosehips and Dansoms. All helped along with my mum's beautiful illustrations of Beech, Ash and Sycamore. One youngster spent much of his session trying to find something very sharp. Despite identifying many different sharp bits and bobs he ended up making his own super sharp stick. The same boy also worked out a way we could always both win playing Bee and Ladybird Tic-Tak-Toe. With my mind officially blown by his inventiveness I wandered happily down hill.

Book and join these fab sessions via Buxton Civic Association on their Eventbrite page.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 24/09/2023

It is Play Wild tomorrow over with our friends Buxton Civic Association and those of you joining can expect a little invitation to spread your fairy wings towards some of our local, wild places, following in the footsteps of slightly older children who took many of their first steps up in Grin Low Woods. See you tomorrow.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 22/09/2023

Pott Shrigley Church School you are amazing. The littlest people in the school are having the best time up on the farm. So are the staff!

Today our newly named friend 'Twinkle' was dressed for Autumn rain and watched over the fire whilst we readied ourselves to delve into magical secrets gifted to us from the trees by storms earlier in the week. Plenty of hocus pocus, gifts for the Autumn fairies and resident Badgers, discovering how our bodies move in the woods, and making connections to people, places and experiences. Oh, and tool work too! Lots of new favourite things and best of all no trace of us left behind.


Join us tomorrow.

Working with families has long been a passion for me, pre-dating the formation of Greenwood and developing as an idea in the middle of Westminster many years ago. I was reminded of the impact of working across families yesterday, when following a pretty grim wet weather morning, a Grandmother who was sharing lunch with her young grandson explained the impact she saw in how I worked to immerse people totally in their environment on their behaviour, language, care and compassion for the natural world and one another.

This was a powerful conversation accidentally landing precisely in a time where I've had occasion to question whether choices made to support our small company risk diluting what it is the best at doing.

All of which is a preamble towards encouraging any families who wish to learn more about Forest Schools Education, and what it may offer to them to join me tomorrow in Teggsnose Woods, Macclesfield for an immersive, gentle and welcoming spot of time out in the woods.

If you like, book yourself a trial spot using the link below.


The weather is due to be very wild tomorrow and a combination of heavy rain, strong wind gusts forecast, and brittle trees makes it necessary to cancel our planned sessions in the morning and afternoon. Those booked on will be contacted by email with further information.

We suggest watching the storm from someplace cosy.

Photos from Buxton Civic Association's post 17/09/2023

We have a full house tomorrow morning for Play Wild over in the stunning Buxton Civic Association Grin Low Woods. We are planning to make the most of the mild weather and slight sogginess with plenty of hocus-pocus planned all under Martha's watchful gaze.

We will miss a few familiar faces as many of our regular children started school earlier this month after two years of fun with us. But, I'm over the moon to welcome new children and families to our gorgeous and slightly unhinged sessions. Nuts? You would be to miss this. Our resident ninja squirrels are ready and waiting to welcome you.

Photos from Greenwood Growth CIC Forest School's post 01/08/2023

Yum! Cauldron cooking is the best and this cauldron is massive. I hope there are some suitably full tummies sleeping well tonight (and that's just our lovely Practitioners).

Funded spaces are available tomorrow, 2, 3, 8, 10 and 14 August. They go like hot potatoes though and with the promise of Moana Curry (trade mark Team Greenwood) I'd recommend getting yourself to the woods pronto.

Book via


A few HAF funded places have become available over the next couple of weeks. Please check to grab your spot. Be quick though - they go quickly!

Hecky-thump! We love a bit of creativity and risk taking at our holiday club and what better way to cheer up a damp day in the than making and lighting a (little) candle. This one was tested - defo worked - and then taken home.

We know families are chomping at the bit to join this programme and we're doing our best to meet demand. If you know you can't make the dates booked please give us as much notice as possible via [email protected] so that we can release spaces to those people on our waiting list.

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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)

Our lovely Lichen and Fern group has moved to a Thursday! I hope this doesn't affect too many of you! We're looking forw...
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Drumming in the woods
This is Katie. Katie has the best job in the world, because Katie gets to help children take well-managed risk. And Kati...
Forest school sounds. A lovely day immersed with our families in Grin Low.#storytelling #carving #greenwoodfamilies
If you go down to the woods @teggsnose  you may discover medallions hanging from oaks. Our young people have identified ...
Today was all about #trajectory and #travel: up, over, along, back and forth for our home ed groups today and Grin Low o...
Best job ever
Noticing the arrival of Spring. I love it when children take a camera, using it to see what I may miss #floating #water ...





Opening Hours

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