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On Saturday three of the Pathways team – Becca, Kerry and Steve – spent the day in Salford at the ‘Escape from the City’ event with our
consultation stall for the work we are doing on Dukes Drive Country Park.

They had a fantastic spot amongst the trees with a great view of the stage and interviewed over 60 people throughout the day.  The event organisers were so friendly and helpful, providing them with a table and chairs and even assisting them with their bunting arranging!

They brought along some colourful flyers about the plans to turn the greenspace into a great Country Park, and of course our scarecrow Sam and some chocolates to thank the people who stopped to chat to us.

The sun had his hat on all day and they had lots of fun listening to the music, munching on chocolate and talking to people about what they would like to see in the area.  A great day had by all!

It certainly feels like autumn has arrived here in Manchester this week.  So in looking forward to the days of autumn ahead, we’ll look back to a lovely team outing we had last autumn to Dunham Massey.

Dunham Massey is one of our local National Trust properties on the south side of Manchester, one of our favourite places for a picnic and a walk.  Late last autumn we decided take our team meeting out of the office and enjoy a wintery picnic in a beautiful spot of woodland.

We also had a birthday to celebrate (Steve from our team) and our last intern John had finished his time working with us and we wanted to say a proper thank you for all his hard work.

So we wandered into the picnic area at Dunham Massey laden down with baskets of cake and other goodies.  Charlie had made a lemon drizzle cake wrapped up in brown paper, and Mac and Steve lit a fire in the Kelly Kettle to boil up water for tea.

May and her little girl Isla built a den from branches and blankets, and we all sat around drinking hot tea and munching on cake.

Sophia had made a beautiful hand drawn card for John, featuring all the projects he had worked on during his time with us, and including cartoon versions of each of us.

Afterwards we enjoyed a nice walk around the deer park.  A big thanks for Kate who took all these lovely photos.

This is how we like to celebrate as a team at Pathways – pick a stonkingly hot afternoon, set out some picnic rugs and parasols in May’s garden, chill some drinks, prepare juicy strawberries and lay out cupcakes from a fabulous local cafe.

We tied up bunting, set out the blankets and made up a few jam jars of flowers picked from the garden.

There were scrumptious cupcakes – including a special cherry bakewell cupcake – from And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon in Disbury, which Charlie set out on vintage plates and decorated with herbs and feverfew from the garden.

We were joined by current and past team members, caught up on what everybody had been up to and what our current projects were, ate cupcakes and strawberries, finished with a tiny glass of bubbly and some facepainting from Isla and Mimi.

If you’re looking for an alternative work party or celebration, or want to have a team meeting with a different, do get in contact with us at or on 0161 273 8235 and we’d be more than delighted to discuss it with you.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of ours, Patrick, moved onto a new job.  He had been the receptionist in our building and we were sad to see him go – so we threw him a small leaving tea party in May’s garden.

There were picnic blankets and chairs laid out…

Pots and jam jars of pretty spring flowers and branches of blossom…

Sophia hung bunting from the trees…

Strawberries and cream…

And chocolate cake…

With a mix of vintage plates to eat our strawberries and cake from…

Here’s Patrick digging into his chocolate cake – we are so going to miss him but wish him the best of luck in his new job!

We were also accompanied by two fairy princesses who were face painting those of us who were brave enough!

Recently we organised a Forest Schools Seminar for a group of 40 people in Manchester – take a look at the short film we had made to find out more about what the day involved:

If you are interested in future Forest Schools events please subscribe to receive our website updates (you’ll see the ‘keep in touch’ button to the left) or send us an email at

Recently we organised and ran a Forest Schools Seminar on behalf of Red Rose Forest.  40 participants joined us on a warm March day to find out more about forest schools through listening to speakers, taking part in workshops, and having a go at hands-on activities.

For our team, the morning started at 7.30am, unloading our cars that were full of large branches, bags of leaves, tablecloths, and a lot of mismatched vintage crockery. 

In a little under two hours, we transformed the church hall:

Complete with woodland scene, including a twiggy den…

Everyone was greeted, signed in, and given lots of hot tea and coffee and pancakes.

Susannah Podmore, the Forestry Commission’s Forest Education Initiative Coordinator gave the opening keynote speech.  She spoke about forest schools and education, what they are, why they work, and what’s going on nationally. 

Next, everyone split up into different workshops led by experienced forest schools practitioners.  Workshops covered delivering forest schools in public woodland, the benefits of woodlands as a learning environment, forest education in schools, and forest education for the under 5’s.

Whilst the workshops were going on, Steve and Charlie packed up their cars with a picnic lunch, and headed off to Wythenshawe Park to set up for lunch. 

The grass was covered with a large groundsheet, laid over with blankets, onto which the delicious picnic lunch was spread out. 

Scrumptious sandwiches packed carefully into baskets, and tins of Spanish tortilla, stuffed vine leaves, and grilled aubergine topped with mozzarella – all made by Backs Deli.

Our picnic spot was encircled with strings of pretty bunting – a lovely welcome for our guests as they wandered across the park to eat their lunch.  And what beautiful warm weather we had!

The lovely Anna, who filmed our Spaceshaper Promotion Event in February was on hand to film the day – we can’t wait to see the final film when it’s finished!

The afternoon workshops were all hands-on forest school activities – a chance for people to try out forest education first hand! 

There was a workshop on delivering the curriculum in a wood:

Another on den making:

Lighting fires and cooking outdoors:

And using ropes to tie knots and build bridges:

If you are interested in attending future Forest Schools workshops or events, or if you’d like help planning an event, please contact us at

Whilst we update our website we will be sharing what we’re up to here – our shiny new blog.  We’ve got some exciting new pieces of work coming up during the summer and some lovely pieces of recent work to share. 

We are a social research organisation based in Manchester – please take a look round, read about the work we do, and follow us on Twitter.