New support helps nurseries go into the woods

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National Day Nurseries Association Cymru has joined forces with the Forestry Commission to offer nurseries in Wales free support in developing outdoor learning opportunities for children.

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Woodlands for Learning, developed by Forestry Commission Wales, which was previously only available to schools, will aim to help nurseries make the best use of their outdoor space. Forestry professionals will work with settings on a one-to-one basis and offer children hands-on activities.

Susan Williams, team leader at Woodlands for Learning, said, 'The younger we can introduce children to woodlands, the better.

'Children who regularly go outside at nursery are more likely to pester their parents to visit woodlands on the weekend, which has a knock-on-effect for the rest of the family's health.'

Mill Childcare Centre in Clwyd, north Wales, said its Woodlands for Learning sessions had been beneficial for both staff and children at the setting.

Director Ffion Roberts said, 'Professionals from Forestry Commission Wales taught us how to make the most of our outdoor area and use the space in different ways. Staff now actively use the outdoors and we go outside with the children a lot more than we did.'

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the NDNA, said, 'We are delighted that all children will now be able to benefit from Woodlands for Learning.

'NDNA Cymru will be signposting members to this valuable support and encouraging them to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.'

Further information: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/woodlandsforlearning.

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