Children get back to nature at the Highwoods forest school

THE Highwoods rang to the sound of children’s laughter this week.

The Highwoods have been used successfully under the Forest School scheme for some time by Amberley Nursery School. The tots enjoy learning about the environment while playing in the woods.

This week it was the turn of groups of six to twelve year-olds to lark about among the fallen leaves.

Under the leadership of Forest School’s Peri Kusadal and Steve Hoad, Monday’s group warmed-up with games like Dragon, where the head of the conga-like column twists and turns in an effort to catch its own tail.

They tried their hands at tracking in Manhunt. Half the group in turn were given ten minutes in which to lay a trail of clues such as sticks arranged in arrow formation before hiding.

The other team’s task was to track their colleagues and discover their hiding place.

Between organised games, the youngsters amused themselves on improvised swings hanging from the trees.

Long before lunch-time the entire gang were famished. But before eating, the learning-curve included instruction in how to light a fire safely near the camp bivouac.

A wide variety of birds, from Nuthatches, Blue Tits and Tree Creepers make good use of the bird-feeders maintained by Highwoods Preservation Society volunteers.

The afternoon task for the Forest School youngsters was to help build more bird-feeders.

Steve Hoad and Peri Kusadal believe Bexhill Highwoods with its wide variety of habitat and rich flora and fauna is the ideal site for the Forest School activities.