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The Foreshore is the northern shore of the Derwentwater close to Keswick. It boats stunning scenery and unrivalled views of the lake and surrounding mountains. A £1.25 million Heritage Lottery funded project to revive the Foreshore began in 2009. Our evaluation in late 2012 included a literature review, stakeholder interviews, a visitor survey to gather the views of 100 visitors and a stakeholder workshop to assess the quality of the site on completion.

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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.

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.

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.