Hampshire Forest School celebrates re-opening after lockdown

Fordingbridge Day Nursery and Pre School celebrates reopening its doors to children from across the county. The nursery had been closed for several months due to Covid-19.

Operated by Proprietor Liz Morey, the forest school operates from the Coach House Day Nursery, a sister property in South Gorley in the heart of the New Forest National Park countryside. Using the natural resources, the forest school once again is providing educational support to children ranging from three months to five years old.

With Government guidance identifying the importance of outdoor learning, the Fordingbridge Day Nursery champions the benefits of teaching children in a natural setting, especially after an unprecedented year of national lockdown taking its toll. For the first couple of months of lockdown many children had their outdoor play completely restricted while staying at home and this can have long-term consequences.

The forest school provides access to child-friendly fields, gardens complete with vegetable patches and farm animals, plus is closely situated to the world-famous heathland on which lessons are also taken.

Liz explained: ‘My whole team is thrilled to be able to support local parents in returning to work through the provision of our truly unique nursery service, delivered in arguably one of the most stunning rural backdrops the UK has to offer.

‘After an incredibly challenging and worrying time for parents, we’re here to help facilitate families return to a normal routine. Having shared a collective experience of lockdown, there seems to be a new, unanimous appreciation of exploring our local scenic destinations. For us, we see each beauty spot as an al fresco classroom for our nursery children to explore the world around them.’

Nursery manager Christina Watson added: ‘Our forest school setting, now more than ever, offers parents a refreshing alternative to traditional nurseries that may struggle to adapt as readily to the new COVID-19 restrictions. With bountiful grounds here for children to run around and play in, we see first hand the positive impacts that increased physical exercise and outdoor learning has on their mental health and wellbeing. In this post-covid landscape, it’s rewarding to be able to deliver educational support in an environment where children can enjoy outdoor space, natural wildlife and our on-site animals, be out in all weathers and be intellectually stimulated by the wealth of natural resources we have around us in the New Forest.’

Senior management have implemented a stringent set of health and safety procedures to ensure the wellbeing of both staff and children, including all staff wearing full face visors and PPE, two metres distancing lines placed on the floors of the converted barns, parents are not permitted to enter the nursery buildings, daily deep cleans of the nursery premises and the set-up of an on-site isolation room should any child become ill to name just a few.

With places for the upcoming September term still available and a flexible 30 hours of free pre-school funding available, Fordingbridge Day Nursery and Pre School invites local parents interested in natural nursery support to book a showround on 01425 657711 or info@fordingbridgedaynursery.com.

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