About Forest Schools
Welcome to Forest Schools Birmingham Community Interest Company.
Our initial organisation started in 1999 with Nick Wale; a Nature Conservationist passionate about creating strong, healthy communities. Shortly before taking the leap to go freelance, Nick had struggled with a period of ME and had focused on finding healing through spending long periods of time immersed in the Natural World; this experience inspired Nick to training in 2002 and become one of the cities (perhaps one of the country's) first independent Forest School Practitioners, ensuring that he continued to spend as much of his day in Nature as possible.
In 2004, Nick met Afric Crossan. Afric was a Primary Teacher who had recently trained in Forest School pedagogy. Afric's autistic son was very young at the time and she was astounded by the therapeutic benefits the Natural World had on there son's anxiety levels. Through her own experiences in taking her son to find comfort and delight in Nature she developed a vision to use Forest School as an intervention tool, to reach and engage with children who have found themselves marginalised within school and social communities. At this point, Forest Schools Birmingham was born and we moved from being independent practitioners to a collective.
Since these beginnings, Forest Schools Birmingham has grown and flourished. Imagine the Forest School ethos and paradigm being the tool box and imagine us then adding the the box Growing, Willow Weaving, Saxon and Viking Adventures, Story Telling, Green Woodwork and a whole host of other engagement programmes , all with one thing in common: developing inquisitive, creative, socially ware and self-regulating children - with a love and respect for the natural world. We also added a host of absolutely wonderful educators with skills across a multitude of areas who slip in to any setting seamlessly, bringing passion to every moment to their practice.
On top of our sessional work within schools across the region, we have been funded by numerous charitable foundations and organisations to work in a variety of communities across Birmingham and the Midlands region. Our work is always rooted in the Natural World and some of our community projects include:
Kingstanding Food Community - a mental health project where volunteers grow produce at our allotments and cook and serve it in our community cafe.
The Cole Valley Clean Up - an environmental project bringing people together to clear stretches of the Cole Valley of litter allowing it to be used as a space to take families recreationally.
And we top off our services with:
Forest School Leader Training - we are nationally recognised and have trained 100s of educators over the last 10 years. We adore this work!
Grounds Design - we offer a wrap around service from design to installation, keeping nature intervention and sustainability at the core of the inception.
Consultancy - looking for help and inspiration? We would be delighted to offer you help and advice.
We are also very proud that over the years we have won 5 awards for our work our work including 'Birmingham's Greenest Business' two years running, we have been invited to Downing Street, we have featured on various programmes including Countryfile and have been invited to contribute to The Parliamentary Review as a Best Practice Representative in the Education Sector - a great honour!
Thanks for reading..
The Forest Schools Birmingham Team