Our lovely colleagues Steve and Becca recently spent a week at Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire, interviewing people about what they’d like to see going on in the park.

Here are some photos Steve took of the stall, which was designed specifically for this piece of work.  We used our new stripey sun tent, a blackboard sign, an easel displaying ideas for activities, and bunting made by printing images onto fabric.

Last week, Steve from our team spent the week at Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire, speaking to people about what they would to see going on in the park.

We set up a colourful stall including yellow tablecloths, lots of images, blackboards and jars of chocolate eggs.  It was completed with our lovely new striped sun shade.

Find out more about the work we’re doing for the Wicksteed Park Heritage Lottery Fund Activity Plan.

Our office is undergoing a bit of a Spring clean and tidy up, and in doing so we have been looking through some of the tools we’ve created for previous work. 

We came across the giant jigsaw puzzle we created for the Great Wyre Jigsaw Project – we love it so much we’ve pinned it to our office wall!  The jigsaw is made from cork and was designed to be taken out onto a stall as a tool to engage with people.

Members of the public could write their likes and dislikes on flags then stick them into it.

The Great Wyre Jigsaw Project was a consultation process that we designed and delivered for Wyre Borough Council.  Our team gathered the views of 2,336 people, finding out what residents felt about living in Wyre and their ideas for improving the quality of life in the area. 

It was one of the largest community consultations ever carried out in Wyre and the results were written up into six accessible reports designed by our colleagues at Countryscape.

If you’d like to find out more about our consultation or engagement work, or have a project you’d like to discuss, please email us at hello@pathwaysconsultancy.co.uk.

Last year we did a piece of evaluation work for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, producing a series of short films to show the impact their Reaching Out for Wildlife project has had on volunteers and the local community.

This was our first foray into creating films, and since then we have made a couple of films to showcase our work on Spaceshaper and a Forest Schools Seminar, and we’re currently working on a series of short films for the North Yorks Moors NPA.

I thought it would be nice to share one of the original short films we produced for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust:

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 hello@pathwaysconsultancy.co.uk.

We are doing a lovely piece of consultation and market research on the Irwell Sculpture Trail

Soon to be relaunched, the Sculpture Trail runs from Salford Quays up to Bacup – approximately 30 miles along the River Irwell dotted with sculptures.

For our first day we were set up outside Salford Museum and Art Gallery on an incredibly hot day.  Our stall, which has been lovingly designed for this piece of consultation, features bunting, pots of spring flowers, and a map of the trail.

We also set up an Easter kids activity on some picnic blankets – making Easter nests from hay and filled with chocolate eggs and a yellow chick. 

Over the next couple of weeks we will be out at various locations along the Sculpture Trail to speak to people about the sculptures and find out how people find out about places – especially whether people like the idea of new technologies such as downloadable audio tours and QR codes.

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 hello@pathwaysconsultancy.co.uk.

We are currently working on a project for the Lime and Ice project team (part of the North York Moors National Park Authority) to produce a series of short films documenting the work done by a group of volunteers. 

This group of volunteers have been helping to research the landscape and archeology of an area called Yearsley Moor – covering 6,000 years of history from the bronze age to the second world war.

May has been out filming with Jeff Wood to capture this beautiful landscape and the stories that the volunteers have to tell of both the history of this place and their experiences uncovering it.

There have been a number of dawn starts, a lot of fog across the woodland and May is now a veritable mine of knowledge on English history!

We can’t wait to see and share the final films!

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.