STOMPING GROUNDS FOREST SCHOOL

Be Wild. Belong Together.

Book A PlaceSubscribe to our newsletter

About Us

Stomping Grounds Forest School is a social enterprise working throughout North East England to bring communities together and reconnect them with nature. Find out more about who we are, what we do and what we believe in…

Find Out more
About Us
Wild Ideas

Wild Ideas

Wild Ideas is a special team-building experience, powered by nature. Over the course of a day, your team will be given the space to come together safely in a tranquil forest setting. Through activity facilitated by experts, participants will be inspired to develop bold, new ideas for working in a changed world.

more about wild ideas

What is Forest School?

Learn about the key principles of Forest School and how we apply them to our work

MORE INFO

What We Offer

Stomping Grounds deliver a range of regular sessions, community programmes and bespoke packages for organisations and private parties

More Details
What We Offer

What People Say...

  • I think its brilliant, especially for anyone struggling financially and anyone who isn’t quite sure about the activity.  The programme gave me the opportunity to try something new for my children, I don’t think I would have without Sophie offering this opportunity, it gave me the push I needed to sign up my son.  Having seen how welcoming they were I then decided to sign up my daughter who is a very shy girl, this was a perfect opportunity for someone like her to also try something new, I definitely would not have tried something like this if she wasn’t given this opportunity as she is quite an anxious little girl. But since coming she has been telling her teachers about the forest school she attends, told her friends how much fun she has and has encouraged them to join too!!

    I loved how the staff wished us Eid Mubarak, how aware they were of our religion  and the needs of the children, making sure there was halal marshmallows etc this all made such a difference to our experience!! They are all brilliant, very diverse in their thinking to make everyone feel welcome!

    Positive Action Parent
  • Wild Ideas was a really imaginative way for our team to get out of the office and in to nature and reflect together. The woodland really is a special space that uses the benefits of the natural world to relax and refresh, open your mind and to find different ways to think. We worked collaboratively with the Wild Ideas team to create a bespoke session that brought out the best in our team and helped to creatively answer those things we wanted to think about for the year ahead. The day was well managed and everyone was friendly and welcoming. It was great to be given ‘permission’ to play – and we all thoroughly enjoyed it! You will not experience a team day quite like it anywhere else!

    Great North Museum Executive Manager, Newcastle
  • My girl started at the under 5 group after she just turned two and has been going for the last 18 months. It has been a huge part in developing her deep connection with nature and her confidence in the outdoors. Our son has been going since he was born, and has now got his forest legs. It’s a great programme, that I also loved as an adult. We would still be there if we weren’t moving away. Really miss it.

    Dave Nguyen
  • We have noticed a reduction in [our son’s] OCD-related behaviours, which were initially prominent during the sessions, and an increase in his willingness to engage in activities independently and with less specific direction, both at forest school and at home.

    Anonymous Parent
  • Volunteering with Stomping Grounds is the highlight of my week! Forest School is everything I hoped it would be – a space for children to be themselves, be wild, have some freedom and autonomy and to learn and play outside of the classroom. It’s such an important opportunity for the children and it really does feel like a privilege to be part of it and to spend my Friday mornings with this bunch of vibrant, inquisitive little explorers.

    Lani
  • I’ve spoken to Sophie who shared her aspirations for these woods and it will be fantastic for children to learn about our countryside and its diversity as well as its maintenance. I am really excited about these woods and that they have been saved for future generations.??

    Brian Hudspith
  • I have just completed my first term of Forest School with my almost 4 year old and 1.5 year old. It’s been a wonderful experience, the kids have flourished in the environment and they have had the freedom and responsibility to try activities that they would never have been able to try in a different setting. Sophie is a great facilitator, nothing is too much trouble and overall the atmosphere amongst the group has been really welcoming and friendly. Will be back again soon!

    Katy Madgwick
  • Myself and my little boy Oliver (13 months) have been going to the under 5’s session every Monday and we both love it! So nice to see kids getting involved in outdoor activities and being exposed to risk taking, decision making, nature and crafts in a family friendly way! Brought my 5 year old niece to the launch day and she has absolutely loved it and is really looking forward to coming for a few summer school sessions!

    Sarah Louise Glover
  • Our son had been out of education for a prolonged period. We were unsure how he would respond to working with new individuals or to being in an environment that he has previously found challenging. From the offset, we were reassured by the professionalism of the Stomping Ground practitioners; particularly how they managed the communication with us, the local authority, and the multi-disciplinary team working with him to ensure that his EHCP and previous experiences were understood, and their willingness to seek guidance when considering required supports for managing potential challenging behaviours driven by his autism and mental health difficulties.

    Anonymous Parent
  • My toddler has been going to the under 5s sessions in Brockwell Woods for over a year now and we both love it. Sophie is wonderful and very good at getting small children engaged! MJ enjoys using tools and having the space to get clarty. She still has a small car which she made in forest school and carries everywhere proudly telling people that she made it. Its a lovely group for adults too – everyone is friendly and lends a hand. Would highly recommend

    Hannah Sorley
  • Back to nature. Joseph really enjoyed his time with the Forest School,
    just what every kid needs! Would recommend

    Katherine Fletcher
  • My two boys had the best two days with Stomping Ground Forest School during the Christmas holidays. They absolutely loved it. I dropped them off both days feeling great trepidation, especially on the first day when it rained literally all day, and both days they came home so full of everything they’d done and all the fun they’d had: crafts, making dens, campfires, roasting marshmallows, splashing in mud (or the ‘mud on your face game’ as my oldest called it)… My washing machine may never recover but am delighted they had such fun! Would recommend to anyone.

    Julia Louise
  • Fantastic bumps & babies session this afternoon. A very welcoming group to meet other parents and share a love of all things outdoors.

    A huge thank you to the forest school leaders for trialing these new sessions! I can’t wait to bring my little one along to join in once he arrives ♥️

    Sadie Diamond-Fox
  • Stomping Grounds have been providing regular forest school sessions at our school for the last 4 years. Every class who work with them love the lessons and the opportunity to get up close to nature.
    The forest school teachers are always highly professional and have excellent regard for the needs of individual children, as well as for the safety of the group.  They form great relationships with the pupils and never fail to create interesting and inspiring learning that ensures our pupils always want to come back for more!

    Tim Godfrey, Mountfield Primary School
  • My 6 year old attended the Chopwell Forest School for the first time and he absolutely loved it! He’s not stopped talking about how much fun it was! Thank you!

    Angela Dennison

Stomping Grounds Forest School is not-for-profit.

Our Values

Our passion is to create Forest School opportunities for all children, not just for those who’s parents can afford to pay for it or understand its aims.

We believe that by reconnecting communities with the natural world, humans can gain a deeper understanding of our place within the ecosystem and how our choices and actions can impact the environment.

The Stomping Grounds Mission and Values
Our Values
Volunteers

Volunteers

If you’re looking to start a career in outdoor education, or just want to spend more time outdoors, we’d love for you to come and join us at one of our beautiful sites throughout the North East.

Get Involved
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
We had absolutely gorgeous weather for our Beltane celebration last Sunday! We wove Beltane hearts, May queen headdresses and decorated green man masks. We lit a special Beltane fire and made offering sticks, learning how to safely place them into the fire. After enjoying a delicious lunch of wild garlic and nettle pasta we decorated the oak tree with green man faces and danced the woodland maypole. It really was a relaxed and heartening day and everyone took home Beltane wishes on wildflower seed paper to plant at home and watch grow.

Would your family enjoy being part of our seasonal celebrations? Please click the link for more information and to book: https://bookwhen.com/stompinggrounds/e/ev-sffd-20220703110000
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
At Stomping Grounds we are proud of belonging to a wonderful Forest School community, and are delighted to wear our hearts (almost) on our sleeves! We know that a lot of you like to share the Stomping Grounds love, so if you would like to order a hoodie, sweatshirt, or t-shirt, please use the following link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfDGeZ_VXkcp1TSBuwcqzxsXt0Fgl5XkBST9LNnKRnX2GYByA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Please order by Friday May 19. Some of the products do not have weblinks - if you would like a spec sheet for size and colour information please email mel@stomping-grounds.org
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
How does Forest School help us feel well?

We all know access to green spaces improves our mental health and wellbeing, but there’s so much more!

At Wellness Wednesdays this week we celebrated. There were 4 birthdays to mark, which warranted a campfire Victoria sponge. It was genuinely one of the nicest sponges I’ve tasted. Prepared and cooked by these young people on the campfire. We celebrate young people every week. We celebrate success, effort, energy, empathy, negotiation and being a good friend. We celebrate getting there and contributing. Each young person is valued and we meet them where they’re at.

The pace at forest school supports some of our group to improve their wellbeing. Some like to take their time. Their achievements are unhurried, thoughtful, well planned. They have time and space to try things their own way and reflect on success.

Some prefer to whizz speedily around the woods, being chased or doing the chasing, taking rapid breaks to focus on a task before whoosh they’re off again burning off energy and meeting their body’s need for movement.

Collaboration and shared goals support friendships and builds community, which defies age, language and disability. Our human need for connection is met when we work together with others and develop empathy, compassion and enjoy each other’s company.

One of the highlights of our week, we’re excited to extend our offer to Fridays.

Suitable for Home Ed, flex schooled, EOTAS or as a school intervention. Book here or pm for more details

https://bookwhen.com/stompinggrounds/e/ev-s0bi-20220610093000

#wellbeing #naturetherapy #therapeuticforest #forestschool #autism #adhd #alternativeed #homeed #northeast
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Out exploring this week at Stomping Grounds Forest Kindergarten at Gibside - National Trust where Spring has sprung and children have noticed. There's a different colour palette all around us, under the cover of trees a ceiling many shades of green - the perfect set to play adventuring Pirates hiding treasure; whilst out in the open sprinklings of blossom floating from the sky "it's snowing!" Twirling and twisting, ducking and diving - the 'Blossom Dance'. We're inspired to move and express ourselves through play, our imaginations and our surroundings.

Does this sounds like a place your child would enjoy? We have places available for 2-7year olds Mon-Fri offering both full and half day sessions. Please fill in the form below to express an interest.
https://forms.gle/oFPyffNCChkSYLoa6
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
All three of our youth groups have been in action this week, offering Forest School for young people aged 8 to 18. The younger (Monday) group enjoyed decorating wood cookies, playing games, exploring, and swinging in hammocks. They also loved to ever popular cheese toasted wrap, not a scrap remained. Young people of Chopwell came together on Wednesday for our very first session for 14-18 year olds. They scouted out the site, worked together to try and save a partially broken tree, hauled benches, cooked some epic hot dogs and experimented with flying techniques off the hammock. Finally, at RISE we started with a good game of floor is lava whilst one member had great fun trying out our giant bubble wand. With talk of mock exams and GCSEs coming up we fully embraced some relaxing time in hammocks and socialising in our tree house before digging into campfire cooked vegan sausages in buns and homemade mint tea. Finishing the session discussing some new inclusive logos our staff and young volunteers will be wearing on our hoodies and tops with some great feedback given by the group!

Do these sound like the kind of session your young person would enjoy? For more information and to see the sessions we run, please visit: https://www.stomping-grounds.org/book/
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
We were thrilled to be back in the woods last week at Prudhoe West Academy, with both of our after school groups. On Tuesday, we were joined by the resident woodpecker throughout the session and spent time trying to spot his location with binoculars. Highlights were helping to rehydrate, name, and rehome a bee named Matty Bee; and investigating the woods after a long break due to storm damage. Everyone was so happy to explore and parting words were "I wish we could stay in the woods all night". On Thursday, we explored our new boundaries and reunited ourselves with favourite haunts. We made woodland creatures out of clay, mined the cliff, constructed bear barriers, and hung in the hammock. We heard and spotted not one, but two greater spotted woodpeckers, using binoculars to identify them. We enjoyed special forest school sandwiches while discussing plans for next week.

Is this something your school would be interested in? We offer bespoke packages for each school setting. Please see our website to get in touch: https://www.stomping-grounds.org/get-in-touch/