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Soon-to-open Clare children's nursery wants to work hand in glove with nature

A new outdoor nursery launching soon hopes to become a core part of its local community by helping youngsters to reconnect with the natural world.

Little Woodland Tribe is seeking children aged two to four-years-old to join its outdoor learning sessions, which will commence at Clare Castle Country Park in September.

Describing itself as the first fully outdoor nursery in the area, the group aims to encourage its members to interact with the park and its wildlife, with activities built around whatever engages them.

Little Woodland Tribe founder Amy Jacobs and Steph Hanratty at Clare Castle Country Park. Picture by Mecha Morton
Little Woodland Tribe founder Amy Jacobs and Steph Hanratty at Clare Castle Country Park. Picture by Mecha Morton

Amy Jacobs, co-founder of Little Woodland Tribe, explained the idea was inspired by her experience in seeing the benefits of outdoor learning at Springfields Pre-school in Sudbury and Springfields Day Nursery in Great Cornard.

She said the method had proved particularly effective for

children with additional needs, stating they are able to concentrate better outside, without the distractions of artificial lights and indoor sounds.

“Children love the freedom of movement, being able to move around and be hands-on with things,” said Amy. “When they’re engaging with nature and interacting with the outdoors, their curiosity is sparked.

“Being in Clare Castle Country Park is even greater. There’s so many different areas and we will be moving around the whole park.”

She suggested an outdoor nursery, which was due to launch in the spring until the coronavirus crisis hit, is especially important in the current situation, because of the benefits of open air, UV rays and natural surfaces in reducing the spread of the virus.

The nursery also plans to collaborate on activities with other organisations, such as the park’s bee-keeping group, as well as local primary schools, to support the transition into school.

“We’re keen to work with different community groups to help the children gain a vast bank of knowledge,” added Amy. “We want to build that thirst for knowledge, which carries through to the start of school.

“More than anything, it’s about making that connection with nature and the community. Anything we can do to bring that connection back has got to have a benefit.”

For more information about the nursery, go to littlewoodlandtribe.co.uk or call 07803 514005.

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