Re-discovering the importance of play.

Woodland Play

Across the UK, schools are re-discovering the importance of play and its ability to impact on some of the most significant aspects of child development. They’re also discovering that natural environments and materials offer some of the richest play opportunities.

While many schools are now developing their playgrounds to provide these ‘natural play’ spaces, hundreds of schools already have access to a wonderful, but un-used, woodland playground right on their doorstep.

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Why did we develop Woodland Play?

The aim of our Woodland Play project was to find out how woodlands in or adjacent to schools could be made accessible for regular play during break times.

With support from Inspiring Scotland and the Forestry Commission, we embarked on a 2-year project with 6 Scottish primary schools that recognised the potential of their woodlands for play but who needed help to turn their aspirations into reality.

Find out how woodland play has benefitted children and school life and learn how schools have successfully dealt with the practicalities of supervision, risk, weather and mud using the resources below.

Short Film

Hear directly from teachers, pupils and supervisors.

Case studies

Longstone Primary Woodland play

The school is located next to a school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and between them they share a strip of millennium woodland that runs along the edge of both of their grounds.

Dalmeny Primary Woodland play

“To learn adventurously” but also sustainably are part of the school's aims – both supported by their use of a community woodland on their doorstep.

Other Resources

Our Woodland Play in schools booklet summarises the practical lessons learned by project schools and is the ideal guide for any other school that is interested in opening up their neighbouring woodland for play.

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