Be Wild. Belong Together.

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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…

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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


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.

  • 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


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
Summer Solstice (Celebration of Mid-Summer) - Sunday 3rd July 11am-2.30pm

Join us for a celebration of nature's seasons through story, song, cooking, craft and play. Inspired by the energy of each season and drawing from the traditional Celtic festivals that our ancestors would have celebrated. Summer Solstice marks the onset of summer, at the time of the longest day.

This will be a day of soul nourishment as we reconnect to the natural world and the rhythms of the earth.

These sessions are suitable for children and families of all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult. A small vegan campfire lunch and hot drink will be provided.

#forestschool #summersolstice #celebrations #connectwithnature
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest Kindergarten at Gibside - National Trust presents...

The Forest Theatre!

Step behind the curtain to discuss the part you'd like to play, listen to one-another practice and give feedback and encouragement to friends - thoughtful, purposeful communication. The curtains open to reveal a unique and magnificent mix of children's creative ideas - song, story telling, dance, jokes. Creating games using their developing directing skills, children have embraced differentiation supporting a parallel form of play on and off stage so that everyone can join in. Examples of how individuals in our Forest Kindergarten have joined together to create a world where anything is possible and everyone is welcome.

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.
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Carving out time for ourselves!

Being a working parent is intense at the best of times. I’ve been beyond burnout since before I can remember. I took today off to do some green woodwork. Working with my hands and wood help to ground me, help me to connect with myself and remember parts of who I am and what I stand for that sometimes get lost amidst running an organising and parenting 3 children with very specific needs and demands. In this instance, the finished product is of little consequence and will likely end up on the fire. It’s been the process that has been therapeutic.

What grounds you? It’s nature all the way for me! Obviously 😆
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
What a wonderful week with our Wednesday and Friday Home Ed and Alt Ed groups. We’re seeing great skills development occurring at the moment as the children and young people follow their interests and explore tool use, bushcraft skills, cooking, foraging, stream dipping and fire lighting.

These groups are suitable for 5-14 year olds who are home educated, flexi schooled or in need of therapeutic support. Not all of our Wednesday and Friday cohorts have additional needs, many are from electively home educating families who choose to take part in forest school.

Very high staff ratios and a dream team of practitioners means we can meet a variety of needs and work holistically with each individual.

Very few spaces left on Fridays, 4 weeks left of term!

Pm or book here

#HomeEd #UnSchooling #NorthEast #ForestSchool #HomeEducation
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Introducing the foresters of tomorrow (and I’m sure you’ll all know, there’s a National shortage, so they will be in high demand).

Harvesting timber to rebuild their treehouse, we learnt how to identify overcrowding and how to choose a tree that contributed positively to the woodland management.

We assessed for nests, and made sensible judgements on where it would fall and how we’d stay safe and minimise damage to other flora.

We managed risks and worked together to fell a small birch which we’ll section over the coming weeks to re build our much loved treehouse.

Wellness Wednesdays and Fridays are Therapeutic group sessions where we explore the woods, ourselves and community. Through play and nurture we repair, support relationships, develop conflict resolution strategies and provide space for young people to thrive.

#forestschool #TherapeuticForest #Play #WoodlandManagement #MentalHealth #Wellbeing #ADHD #Autism #PDA #LivedExperience
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School
At Prudhoe West after school groups last week we honed our fine motor skills, hammering and drilling, coming up with our own ideas of what result we wanted to achieve. No right or wrong, just individual inspiration, creativity and unique creations.

#forestschool #afterschoolclubs #creativity

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: