Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Irish Times Article on Forest Schools

An article written by a journalist who came out to see us on our Forest School Training...interesting stuff!

Irish Times Article by Sheila Wayman - Why children need to go into the woods today.

An extract from Sheila Wayman's article on our Forest Schools Training Course:

'There are whoops of delight as seven grown adults pile into the “debris shelter” they have built from scratch in russet woodland in Co Wicklow. In the distance, the first snow of winter is sprinkled like icing sugar onto Lugnaquilla, lit by the low-angle sun in the clear blue, winter sky.
They were given 45 minutes to complete the task, starting with the picking of a suitable tree with a “V” on which to prop a sturdy “spine” that would, in turn, support a “rib cage” of branches. Armfuls of brush were gathered to fill in the gaps and then covered with forest floor mulch to waterproof the structure.
Mission accomplished, group members stand around and admire their handiwork. Okay, they are not going to have to sleep in it tonight but that doesn’t stop them clambering in to get a feel of it – the leaf-covered, earthy base and the scratchy, twig walls of the dim interior.
It’s the stuff of childhood – at least it should be. But within the space of one generation, a gulf has opened between children and nature as their freedom to roam and play outdoors has been drastically curtailed.
Instead they turn to television and the internet for entertainment while, in the words of Last Child in the Woods author Richard Louv, they are kept under “well-meaning, protective house arrest”.
By depriving children of the chance to negotiate outdoor challenges independently, we’re in danger of raising a generation of physically inept, risk-averse softies, with no wish to get their hands dirty.' 
by Sheila Wayman.

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