Pupils at a local primary school are learning about the Great Outdoors, thanks to a partnership between their school and our conservation students.

Birdwatching, bush craft and campfire cooking will be among fun activities at a forest school being run by Level 3 Extended Diploma in Conservation and Wildlife Management students at St John’s CE Primary School in Sandbach.

The forest school project is the latest phase in a continuing partnership with St John’s School.  The students, who are studying conservation and wildlife management, have redeveloped woodland in the school grounds to make it more accessible for both pupils and wildlife.  Tasks have included creating habitat piles, improving paths, felling trees to let in more light and renovating a fire pit.

They have also designed and built a bird screen which is regularly enjoyed by the pupils as they learn to identify their local bird species.  The bird screen was built with eco materials funded by Redrow Homes, which sponsors community projects in Sandbach and Nantwich.

  • Students and pupils warm up round the fire pit

Our students organised special activities for Year 6 pupils to celebrate the completion of the bird screen including camp fire cooking, making bird feeders and woodland games. After their work placements in April they will return to run regular forest school activities which fit in with the school’s ‘eco’ principles.

Course Manager Susan Huxley commented: “Our students use the practical skills they have learned at college to carry out a range of environmental projects in the community. We are delighted to be part of this worthwhile project at St John’s School and are continuing our partnership by running regular forest school activities for the pupils.”

Student Jonathan Taylor, who will shortly be undertaking a work placement at the Balmoral Estate in Scotland, said: “Working with the children and being part of the student team has been a great experience. It will be a good addition to my CV and will hopefully help me to further my career. I enjoy being out of doors doing practical projects and there are so many opportunities waiting for me once I’ve graduated.”