Hundreds of Hartlepool youngsters have taken part in Bear Grylls style outdoor adventures in the first year of a primary school’s forest project.
More than 1,500 children from the town have experienced den building, fire making and other outdoor activities at Rossmere Primary School’s Forest School project.
The forest was officially opened last summer by children’s television presenter Naomi Wilkinson of Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature.
It is well used by Rossmere pupils to boost their studies and children from across the town have taken part in special events at Christmas, Easter and one inspired by hit show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.
Forest School manager Chris Skelly said its impact on young people’s education had been phenomenal adding: “We are delighted to have been able to welcome so many young people and they all deserve a lot of praise for embracing the project so enthusiastically.”
The forest includes an eco-classroom, hundreds of trees and shrubs, a wetland area, bridges, a pond-dipping platform, a fire pit, a yurt nomad tent, meadows, den building areas, a ravine, a bird hide and a bird feeding station.
Chris added: “The I’m a Year 6 Get Me out of Here sessions are designed to be a fun and informative way for Year 6 pupils to end their time at primary school.
“They learn how to build a shelter – which usually gets tested by a rainstorm, take part in bush tucker and camp trials, have a go at orienteering and learn how to light a fire with a fire steel, Bear Grylls-style.”
Over 400 of Rossmere Primary School’s own pupils also use the Forest School for one and a half hours every week.
Councillor Alan Clark, chair of Hartlepool council’s Children’s Services Committee and a local ward councillor, called the transformation of the former playing field amazing.