The ‘Branching Out’ project provided outdoor sessions at the Skirrid woodland Forest school site, which is beautifully maintained by the National Trust. The project ran from May 2007. Sessions were planned and led by Miranda Thomason and Tamsin Young, established artists who have Forest School Leader accreditation and wide experience in community work, a great combination of skills that makes for lively and stimulating workshops.
Sessions were run with different groups of children, young people and families who normally attended at least four sessions. Programmes were designed to meet each group’s requirements and groups often had a broad range of ages and needs.
The project emphasised the use of natural resources found in the woodland in creative and practical activities, encouraging self-development, learning new skills and working together. Cooking on the campfire was a popular feature of the workshops, and workshops also included bird watching, building a shelter and making trails and paths amongst other activities.
The project had support from The National Trust, Monmouthshire County Council, The Forestry Commission, Communities First and Sure Start.