Quinta Nature Reserve to receive funds to increase outdoor learning

Wild cookery

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has been awarded £9900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a new Forest School at its Quinta Nature Reserve at Swettenham, Cheshire.

The Forest School will attract visits from local schools encouraging children to get outdoors to learn more about wildlife and connect with nature.

The project will improve the accessibility and learning resources at the reserve enabling a wide range of nature study activities to take place from exploring the reserve’s ancient woodland through to sweep netting in the wildlflower rich meadows to discover mini-beasts.

“Our initial focus is on enabling the site to be used by visiting school groups to encourage them to learn about their natural heritage through fun activities,” said Nick Rowles, People and Wildlife Officer at Cheshire Wildlife Trust. “Children learn by doing, and the activities that we will be able to run will enable them to get close to nature. My hope is that the children will then encourage their families to visit the site to show them what they have learnt.”

Bogart

Bogart

The funding will open some of the inaccessible sloping parts of the reserve through pathways and steps, as well as developing better facilities for visiting children and families. This will include an all weather outdoor classroom and a stream dipping platform. The funding will also be used to help Cheshire Wildlife Trust provide nature-related activities for up to 600 children from local schools.

“Volunteers will now be helping us to make these improvements to the reserve, which will make such a difference to the amount of the site that people will be able to access,” Nick Rowles added. “We have invited schools from across Cheshire to take part in our Forest School and wildlife discovery days at our Quinta Nature Reserve and we know what a difference these sessions make to the children – not only in developing their learning but also in their social skills and confidence.”

The Quinta Nature Reserve has a range of habitats, including a plantation woodland, ancient woodland, two meadows and a stream. Cheshire Wildlife Trust have managed the plantation to encourage woodland regeneration and improve species diversity especially butterflies and wildflowers.