What to expect at a session

  • We go out in all weathers, except high winds and lightning storms. The children are encouraged to appreciate the natural world throughout the seasons, and we encourage them to use natural materials in their play.

  • Our sessions give the children a low risk environment in which they are free to explore the woodland throughout the seasons, and get muddy! We have a loose structure every week but we allow the sessions to be as child-led as possible. 

  • We meet and wait for everyone in the car park area at the start time before all walking down to the site together.

  • We start the sessions at the central meeting point, have a brief welcome, and a safety talk where we explain about rules for staying safe in the woodland and around the fire circle if we have a small fire- and then we often play a short game to help the children feel confident in the woods.

  • We then introduce or suggest an activity, such as leaf printing, bug hunts, den building, painting, sensory games, or natural crafts for example, and then the children are free to do that, or just have free play on the water wall, music wall, or mud kitchen, or in the wider woodland area where we have plenty of space to run about, dig, collect stuff, play on rope swings, climb trees, play games and explore. We encourage the children to follow and build on their own interests within our setting.

  • We will have a snack and hot/cold drink about half way through. Usually there are biscuits and a story involved too! We may occasionally cook snacks on a small fire, and we sometimes use a kelly kettle for boiling water for hot chocolate/tea/coffee. We put the snacks and drinks out on a table for you to serve yourselves and your children. Our fire area is under cover.

  • If we feel it appropriate we may also introduce some simple woodland games, and we also have simple tools available which the leaders can demonstrate and help the children learn to use if they wish, in an age appropriate manner.

  • We usually have two dogs at our sessions,  a 5 year old border collie who is friendly and doesn't jump up; and a yellow labrador puppy who either is asleep, or follows the collie about.

  • At snack time we regroup at the fire circle  and during the session we will try to chat with you to reflect on what your child likes doing and might want to do next time, so we can keep the sessions as child led as possible. 

  • At the end of the session we say goodbye and  make our way back to the car park.

  •  All sessions are run by at least one Level 3 qualified Forest School Leader plus another qualified leader or assistant  with full DBS checks, outdoor first aid certificate, and basic and/or outdoor food hygiene certificate. We carry a full first aid kit with us at all times.

  • We ask that at least one adult per family group remains throughout the session. There is no charge for extra adults.

  • The parent/adults will be responsible for their own children at all times.

  • Activities may include flint and steel fire lighting, using tools such as saws and peelers, woodland craft, den building, and camp fire cooking. 

  •  If we need to cancel a session due to poor weather we will contact you as soon as we make the decision, and offer you an alternative date.

  • Please wear suitable outdoor clothes and shoes - no sandals or open toed shoes please. Waterproofs are always needed, with lots and lots of warm layers underneath in the winter and cool layers in hot weather. 

  • We have toileting and hand washing facilities on site. We also provide a dry area to change nappies and store bags on site, and give shelter from rain or sun.

  • The approach into the woods from the car park and meeting area is grassy but quite steep and is ok for all terrain pushchairs, but not lightweight buggies.

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What to wear and bring

It could be said that there is no such thing as bad weather - only unsuitable clothing! With that in mind, please dress for the weather and remember that lots of layers are best and easiest to manage. Adults need layers and waterproofing too, not just the children.

Winter cold and wet and wind

  • Waterproof boots or snow boots with several warm pairs of socks. Ordinary gumboots are the coldest things ever invented if you only have a thin pair of socks inside them. 

  • Waterproof over-trousers. If you only have thin waterproof trousers like you get from hiking shops, wear as many layers (tights, leggings, jogging bottoms etc) underneath as you can.

  • Ski or snow trousers best - available cheaply on ebay, second hand. Also need layers underneath.

  • Body - again outer ski clothes best, as many layers as possible. Thin layers next to body with long sleeves,and then jumpers, jackets and waterproof top layer. 

  • Scarf or neckwarmer

  • Gloves, with gloves to spare. And another pair just in case.

  • Warm Hat

Summer heat or rain

  • Waterproof coat and trousers

  • Sturdy closed toed shoes or boots, spare socks

  • A jumper, even if it's hot. It can get cool in the woods under the trees

  • Long sleeved top to avoid scratches

  • mosquito repellant

  • Hat and suncream, though the wood is mostly shaded.

Payments

We manage all our bookings except parties through our ticketing website, where you can check availability and book as many sessions or blocks as you wish. You will receive a booking email and reference once your booking is complete.

Parties require a non refundable deposit at the time of booking confirmation, and the balance in full 2 weeks before the date of the party. Please contact us for more  details.

We are located at:

Silver Birch Farm

High Street

Balcombe

West Sussex

RH17 6JY

The farm is unsignposted but is down a farm track along the south side of the High Street /B2110, with a field visible sloping away as you enter the track, on the left.  We are down the track about 100 metres, on the left. 

Click here to see a view of the track as you enter.

Cancellation Policy

We will only cancel if we cannot accommodate a session due to poor weather conditions or if we cannot fulfil our responsibilities due to illness. We will try to offer an alternative date if this is the case.

For parties we will try to arrange an alternative date. If this is not possible we will refund in full.

For weekday sessions, if we have to cancel a session due to high winds then we will move all bookings and payments for that date to a future date. 

We regret that we cannot offer a refund under any other circumstances once we have booked the child place. 

Good Behaviour Policy

In a woodland environment we must uphold standards of behaviour that keep all participants safe. If any child is putting themselves or others at risk then we will ask them to sit out of an activity. For parties, we expect adults to be responsible for all children and to uphold good standards of behaviour. 

Risk Assessment

We have full public liability insurance, and keep and update detailed risk assessments for all activities and locations. 

TWOMUDDYBOOTS

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Silver Birch Farm, High Street, Balcombe RH17 6JY

©2019 BY TWOMUDDYBOOTS.