Past events and cluster groups

If you would like to be added to the Derbyshire Forest Schools mailing list to hear about similar upcoming events please email

Some Past Events, please see menu on the right beneath this heading for more information about local cluster meetings and events. 

Derbyshire Forest School Day 2015

Thank you to every body who attended and contributed to a fantastic Derbyshire Forest School Day 2015. The day included workshops on tree ID, risk taking in play, floor book planning, outdoor literacy, felt making, leave no trace principles, wildlife gardening, plus dream catchers and wands making and campfire cooking and bark pot making demonstration. Many participants brought along something they had made as part of a Forest School programme to share and these have been collated into a booklet full of ideas that can be found on the page ‘Derbyshire Forest School Day 2015 Notes and Resources’ – please scroll down the menu on the right to view this.

Attendees also took part in a discussion identifying the support and activities required to further develop Forest School Programmes across the county. More networking/skill sharing opportunities via local cluster group meetings was thought to be the most valuable and we hope to set these up as soon as possible. If you would be interested in attending these local meetings please join the e-circulation list above for more details.

‘Wow – yet again lots of good info, crafts, skills and networking. Came away with skills and inspiration. Looking forward to the developments of the group

‘I feel very inspired and full of ideas for next year’

‘Bark crafts was fab. Lovely time networking and making links. Camp food was fantastic. Great day with lovely people – thank you’

‘A very informal and helpful way of meeting others and exchanging ideas’

Forest Gardening Day, September 2014

Thank you to our tutor Sarah Spencer and hosts Melbourne Junior School for an excellent day full of ideas that could easily be introduced to many Forest School bases and add further learning opportunities within a Forest School programme. Sarah showed us how a relatively small space had been transformed using low maintenance Forest Gardening principles, and demonstrated how each element had at least one practical or edible use and offered many learning opportunites. Photographs below by Emily Crofton

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Derbyshire Forest School Day June 2014

Thank you to everyone who contributed to a brilliant day! Here are a few pictures and  comments from attendees. You can find resources from the day on the right hand side of this page under ‘Derbyshire Forest School Day 2014 Notes and Resources’

‘Excellent networking opportunity, staff really knowledgeable and approachable, can’t wait for the next one’

‘Campfire cooking booklet fantastic, knife skills inspirational’

 ‘Food was lovely, knife talk useful. So valuable to talk to others’

CookingDinner timeDo NutsHelen CookingMiranda 1Pizza Oven


Derbyshire Forest School Day 2013

June 2013 – A big thank you to all who were involved in running workshops, giving presentations, demonstrating skills and sharing a county full of ideas for successful and inspirational Forest School programmes; making our Derbyshire Forest School Day another fantastic day! Please see the link under resources on the right hand side for some of the presentations and workshop notes from the day.

Fire Skills Day, 18th October 2012

As requested by many of the Forest Schools Day participants a day dedicated to fire skills was led by Paul Adamson. Paul guided the group though a number of knife skills and by the end of the morning everybody had crafted a spatula for use cooking over the fire. In the afternoon firelighting in a number of sitiations using a range of materials was explored and there was time for everyone to use firesteels, flint and steel and a bow drill to create fire. A great day and perfect opportunity to top up your forest school practical skills.

Derbyshire Forest Schools Day 2012 20th June 

 Eco Centre (Wirksworth)

We had a fantastic day at the Eco Centre. Thank you to all who attended.

Similarly to last year 2 follow up days will be run in Autumn. Participants were asked to note down areas they would like to spend more time on. At least one of the days will focus on firelighting (which was mentioned by almost everyone who attended) and the days will be open to all Derbyshire Schools and Settings staff. More information to follow.

Some comments from particpants:

An extremely enjoyable and informative day/experience. Thank you!

I really enjoyed the day and will definitely look into doing the level 3 training. Thanks for everything.The best training day I have EVER attended. Wonderful day and met great people who were willing to share their ideas and successes.

I feel very inspired and can’t wait to go back to my school and discuss becoming a forest school.

A photo of the day appeared in the Derbyshire times

October 7th and 14th 2011

During the event below lots of you said you were keen to meet up to work on practical skills.  As part of the FS Day evaluation preferred activities were noted and 2 practical days took place in October 2011 based on this information.

The morning session was a Forest Schools taster session, over lunch we looked at different methods of firelighting and simple cooking over a fire, before creating natural art pieces and group shelters in the afternoon.

Lots of discussion took place over the two days and lots of plans were made for developing FS back at school and working with neighbouring schools.

Derbyshire Forest Schools Day 2011

Many of you leading or training to lead Forest Schools sessions have asked for events and opportunities to meet up with others in order to share ideas, as commonly you are the only member of staff within your setting undertaking Forest Schools training.

Initially we set up twilight sharing groups running in a variety of areas across the county, unfortunatly not many of you were able to attend and those that did suggested a full day might be easier to attend.

The first Derbyshire Forest Schools Day was held at the Eco Centre nr Wirksworth.  All places were quickly booked up and feedback was very positive.  We now hope to make this an annual event. Please see pictures below.

….story telling, lunch outdoors, bow drill demonstration, using tools and making string from nettles.

OCN L3 Forest Schools Training

With kind support from Extended Services, three FS OCN L3 courses have run between 2010 -12.  The courses were delivered by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust at Shipley and Elvaston Castle Country Parks.  46 Derbyshire schools staff took part in the training and are now busy estabilishing Forest School programmes within their own schools and settings.

Comments on the training from participants:

Very Clear information given – lots of ideas and great trainers

All aspects have been useful, particularly tool use and risk assessments so that we can use skills learnt in order to plan safely. I feel much more confident in creating a safe, managed fire.

The balance of theory and practical was great.

Great to meet like minded people. 

The most useful aspects of the training were tool use, lighting fires safely, ropes/knots, using natural materials and the whole ethos of what forest schools is about. A positive experience.

Obviously the skills learnt are very useful but I feel I have achieved a greater level of confidence about delivering the sessions, both from the training given and support from others on the course.

Forest School training has been very useful and it has helped me to understand about the wide range of actyivities and projects that can be done outside of the classroom and the amount of fun you can have at the same time!!


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