Sport, Leisure and Culture
Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Monday, September 6 2010
The Forest School Site
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Everybody's site is different in location, vegetation
cover and the variety of resources available but a few
basics that we have found to help can be seen below. How you lay
them out is up to you but sustainability also needs to be looked
Denudation - if you regularly use hazel as
cooking sticks then the trees in your area will run out very
quickly. Try to cycle your activities allowing time for the trees
to grow or source your resources from another area.
Compaction - the use of the same area regularly
will lead to compaction of the ground by the numbers of children
and adults using the site. Compaction leads to bare ground because
of the trampling and can adversley affect the growth of trees as
they struggle to get the nutrients through the compacted earth. Try
to move your activity site around or, if this is not possible, try
to lessen the damage by giving it breathing space occasionally,
e.g. school holidays.
Pollution - this does not just refer to rubbish
dropped by children and adults but also to the craft activities. Do
not leave the results of your crafts around for too long, e.g. leaf
mobiles should be removed at the end of a course or before if
damaged. Think about danger to wildlife - the activity may have
produced something that may be toxic or may entangle a creature.
Try to follow the adage 'Leave no
Degradation - A gradual deterioration in an
area can occur without you noticing. It may be advisable to take a
few pictures and make a few general surveys before starting and
Corruption - in your efforts to provide
different activities you may accidentally introduce or take away
something from the area. Bringing in conkers to work on may result
in the growth of Horse Chestnuts where there were previously none
or the constant use of the same tree to tie ropes for shelters may
cause it to weaken and eventually fall.
Although we rest our site as much as possible during school
holidays we have made the decision to 'sacrifice' this small part
of the Park in order to run Forest School activities. We make as
much effort as possible to look after it but accept that a certain
amount of compaction, pollution and degradtion will occur.
A simple diagram of the site here at Itchen Valley Country Park
can be seen below.