The Nest

Outdoor, holistic learning & well-being hub
Educating, nurturing, & growing the whole child 🌿

Operating as usual

Photos from The Nest's post 11/06/2024

Yesterday, the children were delighted to find this little red-headed cardinal beetle on their adventure into the woodland.

The red-headed cardinal beetle is a medium-sized beetle found in woodland, along hedgerows, and in parks and gardens. The adults are present during the summer and can often be found sunbathing on flowers or tree trunks. They are predators and feed on other insects flying around the flowers on which they are perched.

We learnt that there are two other species of cardinal beetle in the UK, both of which have black heads. The black-headed cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea) is less widespread, but found in similar habitats; while the Scarce cardinal beetle (Schizotus pectinicornisis) is only found in Birch woodland at a few sites in Scotland and Wales.

Keep an eye out for this medium-sized beetle. They like gardens and parks aswell as woodlands 🌿

Photos from The Nest's post 08/06/2024

This is the penultimate week of our first half term. How did that happen? 🌿

We have an exciting week ahead planned and can't wait to welcome you in.

Our first two workshops are almost ready for release. We are so excited to have two amazing and inspiring guests, creatives and friends joining us! 👀 We can't wait to share the magic ✨️

For booking this week, please follow the link below.

Any questions, please be in touch, and we'll be happy to support you.

In gratitude,

Ben & Amy

Photos from The Nest's post 05/06/2024

In this week's Free-Flow, we saw a perfect example of the organic way in which our children learn. Lola spotted this green spider at the edge of the forest she encouraged the other children to come and take a look - we thought it looked like a tiny cucumber! This inspired Lola to hunt for other bugs. Upon finding the biggest worm any of us had ever seen, Lola then led the other children in a bug hunt around the garden. They found woodlice, a centipede, and plenty of slugs! It was a beautiful experience to witness this natural, child-led discovery!

Photos from The Nest's post 04/06/2024

The children have really enjoyed creating their own nature colour wheels this week and heading out into the woodland in search of a rainbow 🌈 to fill them.

They were in awe of what they found to fill their wheels. We identified many plants and trees through the various properties of each species.

The children were keen to learn more about each season and what we might find as we transitioned through each one. We looked at the seasons and cycles of nature and how they connected to the colours of our lands at different times throughout their own cycle and our seasons 🌿🌳🌼 🍂


Did you know our outdoor classroom and garden is bare feet friendly! 👣👣👣

Children are invited to experience all embodied aspects of our environment through play and connecting with nature and the earth where possible in their learning 🌿


A rare few spaces available with the lovely, Marie The Beautiful Bear this week 🌿💚

We will be catching up with the tadpoles this week and making a little clay frog to take home.
I have a couple of spaces left on Wednesday & Thursday evening explore this week so come and join meeeeeee 🌿


Our booking is open for next week's sessions and for the remainder of the term 🥳🌿 Next weeks sessions are open to schooled and home ed families.

Here is the booking link:

Thank you for all the support, messages and feedback we have received in our first two weeks.

In gratitude,

Team Nest 🪹


Good morning,

We have had a fantastic first week here at The Nest. Thank you to all of the amazing children and grown ups that we had the pleasure of meeting. Our booking for next week is now open.

Booking is via our website on the booking page at

We look forward to welcoming you in,

In gratitude,

Ben & Amy 🌿


Our holiday club is now open for booking!

We are opening a Woodland Summer Holiday Club at the Beautiful Bear. We will be opening on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 til 15:30. This will start on the 29th of July and will run every Monday and Tuesday for three weeks until the 13th of August. Days are priced at £45 per day, block booking, and sibling discounts are available.

The days will incorporate all of our sessions that are currently on offer and more. Please have a look at our sessions page to find out more information.

Contact us at [email protected] for more information or to book your space today.

Ben & Amy

The Nest Outdoor, holistic learning & well-being hub
Educating, nurturing, & growing the whole child 🌿


The woods offers an abundance of wildlife. Between each changing season, the cycle of life turns its unending wheel in seemingly infinite ways.

From plant life and insects, birds and mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and even pond and river-dwelling fish - the forest literally has it all. It is a rich and diverse ecosystem that offers a complete study of the biology of living organisms.

In this session, children will have the opportunity to explore the scientific processes that bring the forest to life. They will be able to understand the physical processes that power the seasons by scientifically observing the natural world around them.

We aim to spark their curiosity and follow their lead as they explore nature in new and exciting ways.

Booking is via our website: The first session is this Tuesday (14th) May. Spaces are limited.

We look forward to meeting you!

Ben & Amy 🌿


It is estimated that 1 in 5 children and young people in the UK have a diagnosable mental health condition. 50% of those are established by the age of 14.

We are passionate about offering a safe place for children and young people to express themselves freely, cultivate awareness of their emotions, and develop a range of tools to explore and tend to and manage their own wellbeing.

This session is an opportunity for children to tune in to themselves and learn how to navigate their own internal worlds. This is a space to grow and develop our social, emotional, spiritual, and interpersonal development skills.

A space to slow down and cultivate our own personal relaxation and mindfulness toolkit. This is a time to develop our practice of becoming more aware of the senses, acknowledging thoughts and feelings, and observing them rather than letting them control our emotions and actions.

Activities will include the use of the arts (art, dance, drama, and music), creative and expressive art, visualisation, guided meditation, somatic movement, yoga, and so much more! This session is led by Amy, our own in-house mentor and child play & creative arts psychotherapist, who brings an abundance of knowledge, creativity, and playfulness to each of her sessios.

Each session will have a theme and last 1 hour.

Any questions please reach out to Amy directly 😊🌿


Our free-flow sessions offer children autonomy and choice in their play and learning explorations. In this two-hour session, children are able to select activities and materials that interest them. This fosters a sense of independence and ownership over their individual learning journeys. Our free-flow environment allows children to pursue their own interests and curiosities outdoors and amongst nature. This deepens engagement and fuels creativity as they explore topics and activities that they are most passionate about from a wide range of open-ended opportunities that are carefully selected and set out for each session.

In our sessions, children have the freedom to experiment with materials, try new things, and make discoveries at their own pace through play and exploration of the natural environment. This develops a love for learning and encourages them to see themselves as capable explorers.

We offer highly skilled educators and mentors who can provide support and guidance while respecting children's autonomy in a safe and stimulating natural environment that fosters exploration, discovery, and the awe of imagination.


At the weekend, the children and I picked a basket of daisies before Ben cut the grass.

Daisies are actually edible. We sometimes put outside raw in to salads. We have also tried crystallising them using egg white wash and sugar and using them on our cupcakes as decoration.

The ones we have picked are currently drying out on the kitchen window sill and will shortly be added to oil (almond and olive work well) and left for a week or two ready to make in to a balm.

The humble daisy has medicinal antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that ward off bacteria and irritants from the surface of your skin. Before we could find arnica in our cabinets, the daisy was a plant used to treat bruises, minor skin complaints, achey tired joints, and muscles.

This simple balm uses 3 ingredients and should last for around a year.

We'll talk you through the recipe with a step by step once our oil is ready 🙌🌿🌼


This is a one hour drop-off session available weekly for children aged 4-11. This is available as a single booking. Each session will stand in its own right. We are so excited to get started with this 🌿

This session is led by Amy, our resident artist. She has facilitated many community arts based projects in her time up and down the country, including the Big Wood project up in Derbyshire. She is passionate about sharing her love of the land, nature, and art to inspire the next generation of artists and visual storytellers.

Environmental art is a range of artistic practices encompassing both historical approaches to nature in art and more recent ecological types of works.

It primarily celebrates an artist's connection with nature using natural materials. This session is an opportunity for young people to use the natural environment to share artistic creations that are intended to enhance or become part of the environment, to share a story, or to make a statement on topics or environmental issues that are important to them.

Booking is via our website:


This session is now available to book weekly from Monday, 13th May. The session lasts one hour and begins at 11.30 at The Beautiful Bear Venue in Souldrop led by our in-house teacher and local craftsman.

Our aim is to bring attention to the fact that the process of making anything starts in nature and to support young people to build a healthy and dynamic relationship between themselves and the woodland. This will include the actions of craftsmanship; planting, cultivating, harvesting, using, making, and mending.

We will create an ecosystem for children to explore the tools and skills connected to these actions. In this ecosystem, the culture of craftsmanship can be passed on to inspire everyday lives generation after generation.


Our new session,'The Art of Storytelling,' is now available to book on our website 🥳

Storytelling is woven into the very fabric of human history. It stretches back long before written words, perhaps even sparking alongside the development of language itself. Some of the earliest glimpses we have are prehistoric cave paintings until oral traditions and then became the cornerstone of storytelling for millennia. Skilled storytellers, perhaps shamans or elders, would hold the power to weave tales of history, heroes, and the natural world. These stories weren't just entertainment; they were a way to pass down knowledge, culture, and values from generation to generation.

This class encompasses everything involved in storytelling. From learning a story in depth to retelling a story from memory, to learning performance and voice skills, children will explore old and new stories from traditional English folklore. They will explore the folk tales of the forest and learn about the forgotten stories of magic that inspired some  of today's most popular tales. They will also have the opportunity to explore 21st-century ways of recording their stories - using film, animation and the arts.

If you have any questions please be in touch.

Limited spaces available.


Hi everyone!

Thank you so much for all the feedback we've received and thanks for your patience while we sort through the initial website issues and get back to emails and messages.

Our service descriptions are up for you to explore what we have on offer in the book online section of the website. We are so grateful for the support you have shown us and the bookings we have already received.

With gratitude,

Ben and Amy 🌿


We are delighted to announce that our website and booking is officially open! 🥳

Our first day is Monday 13th May. We can't wait to welcome you in 🙂

Please get in touch if you have any questions, and we will be happy to help 🌿🌱🐞


You are warmly invited to join us for one of our opening, free taster and information sessions on the 8th and 9th of April. Sessions are at The Beautiful Bear Venue in Souldrop, North Bedfordshire. There are four possible slots available from 10-12 & 2-4pm each day. Booking is essential via email [email protected].

There will be a wide range of activities and sessions running for you to try, and we will be on hand to answer any questions you might have. The offer is available for children from ages 4-11. All children will need to be accompanied by an adult.

We look forward to meeting you all,

Ben & Amy



Hello beautiful people,

I am Amy. This is a picture of me about to head off for a swim in the Great River Ouse up here in North Bedfordshire. I'm a lover of all things wild and am happiest outside, connected to the earth and all things seasonal and cyclical. I'm a lover of the moon, my tea garden, and allotment. I love to grow and craft tinctures, recipes, and remedies from the native plants I tend to at home 🌿

I am a qualified Play, Filial, and Creative Arts Psychotherapist and Artist with 20 years of experience in the field of child development, children's mental health, and SEN. I am trained in the use of child observation via the Tavistock clinic in London and use this to inform my approach to enhance the learning and development of children. I love all things creative, mindful, and messy!

I met my husband at work many moons ago and trained him as a Mentor. Working together as a team is not new territory for us in life or work! My husband is my best friend and biggest supporter, and I am delighted to reconnect through our passions at work and grow this new offer together.

The Nest has been birthed in line with our own beliefs and values as we raise our own little people as a home ed family. We believe that we can offer this out to our local community in support of families who seek similar opportunities for their children's emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual development.

When we had children, we knew we would need to carve out a pathway that perhaps looked different to many others. We are still on this ever evolving journey, and The Nest is a part of our unfolding.

We are so excited to warmly invite you to join us on our two free open days for a taster of life in The Nest. Information to follow. 🙏🌿🌸

Warmest wishes,

Amy 🪺


I'd like to take some time to introduce myself. I'm Ben, I'm a qualified teacher and a home educating dad of three. I have worked in the education sector for 16 years but have left mainstream teaching to establish my own offer, unbound by the four walls of a traditional classroom. An offer that is child lead, holistic in approach, outdoor-based, and captures the awe and wonder in learning.

Since becoming a parent, I am dedicated to nurturing and guiding my own children in their discovery of the world and unfolding as people. These personal passions, values, and beliefs are aligned with my co-creation of The Nest with my dear wife and partner in life, Amy.

I am deeply passionate about the outdoors and protecting the natural world. This is a part of our everyday lives as a home ed family. We grow our own food and live off the land at our home and through foraging as much as possible.

I am a performer in both storytelling and the stage, and I am always happiest when making things with my own hands - be it woodwork, weaving, embroidery, or tending to plants.

I have a deep love of traditional English folklore, particularly ancient tales of plants and the mystical creatures of the forest. I cultivate the ancient magics into children's imaginations through the deep power of stories and creativity.

I'm so excited to welcome you into The Nest and share our offer with you in the weeks ahead.

Ben 🌿


The child has a different relation to his environment from ours... the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear.

-Maria Montessori

Photos from The Nest's post 11/11/2023

The little people have been busy gathering and weaving to create trees for our fairy garden 🌿🌳🍃✨️💖


Wonder becomes possible when children can risk being themselves without there being any risk at all.


Today marks , this year's theme is

Equity means creating an inclusive world.
Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there.
Through the process of equity we can reach equality.




Photos from Alder Barn Therapy's post 01/02/2023
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