New series of outdoor classes to get kids in touch with nature

An environmental educational centre is starting a new series of events focused on helping children get a grip on the great outdoors.

West Boldon Lodge
West Boldon Lodge

West Boldon Lodge’s Forest Playschool sessions allow youngsters aged from one to five to interact with nature, make new friends and explore mystical woodlands.

Activities on the 13-hectare site - operated by communities’ charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN) - help them engage with nature, science and the environment.

They include play and learning in a mud kitchen, bug hunts, scavenger hunts, and eating marshmallows around a campfire.

Blocks sessions run from 12.45pm and 2.45pm each Monday, from Monday until April 3, and between 10am and noon on Fridays, from March 3 to April 7.

Forest Playschool is led by a qualified Forest School leader in the lodge’s purpose built nursery area of woodland called The Realm.

Though based outdoors, the safe and supervised session can move indoors if weather demands.

Jasmine Bays, Forest Playschool leader and education project pfficer with Groundwork STAN, said: “We are delighted that Forest Playschool has returned to West Boldon Lodge.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for children to spend quality time with their family in the great outdoors.

“The sessions are proving to be extremely popular and there’s been great demand.”

The lodge is situated on the south side of the A184 Newcastle Road, opposite the Quadrus business centre in West Boldon.

Part of the National Grid Environmental Education Centre Network, it delivers high-quality engaging and informative outdoor and environmental education activities to a range of visitors.

Constructed by the National Grid, it opened in August 2010 and is an Erlund House Log Cabin made from high quality Northern Pine logs grown in Finland.

Groundwork STAN works to create sustainable communities, specialising in training and education programmes and in the creation of ‘green’ spaces.

Its portfolio includes the £5.4m One Trinity Green business centre in South Shields and the Eco Centre in Hebburn.

Sessions must be pre-booked by visiting, with a block of six priced £30.

Each child must be accompanied by an adult.