The kettle was boiling on the campfire and the sun was shining through the trees as Woodcroft Wood, in Sutton Veny, hosted the first ever open day at Copse and Loppers Forest School. This was promoting the new Saturday Club, which will open after Easter.

The two-acre site was filled with 27 enthusiastic children, exploring their new surroundings, hunting for bugs, whittling skewers and decorating tree trunks with clay ‘tree spirits’.

Families built dens using branches and tarpaulins and rope, proving that it’s not only the young who enjoy the freedom offered by a woodland environment.

“It was lovely to see parents working with their children to create structures,” said owner and Forest School practitioner Lynn Blood.

“I think there was a bit of competitiveness between the dads, though – one even asked if he could come back next week to build an extension!

“We offer children the opportunity to explore independently and to use their own initiative to solve problems.

“They learn how to handle risks and cooperate with others, whilst learning new skills and developing self-confidence.”

Copse and Loppers Forest School has been running after-school and holiday clubs in the woodland at Wylye Valley School, Codford, for nearly two years. Saturday sessions are also due to start in Sutton Veny soon.