A NEW forest school will be installed near Rose Hill Primary School’s playground in the New Year.

Nicholson’s Nurseries and the Berkeley Reafforestation Trust have handed the school funds and labour worth £12,000 to turn part of its grounds into a fenced-off woodland area.

A day’s work on Friday, January 8, will give the youngsters a wildlife area, pond, fire-pit, shelter, climbing logs and boulders.

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The school’s outdoor learning co-ordinator Emma Hood said the children could not wait for the area to be built.

She added: “Our principal Sue Vermes is very passionate about outdoor learning.

“Nicholson’s Nurseries and the Berkeley Reafforestation Trust wanted to be involved in the project and the entire ninety staff from the nursery will be involved too.

“They will all come along on January 8 and spend the day at school putting in the trees and fencing and building the pond and everything else. The children absolutely love outdoor learning.

“It is very exciting that we have found ourselves being given this great resource.

“It is really fantastic to turn some of our land over to this, something that will be good for wildlife as well.”

Pupils already take part in a range of physical activities, including after-school sports clubs.

Ms Hood said playing outdoors had many benefits for youngsters.

She said: “The changes that you see in them outside are really quite profound, especially for the children who struggle in class.

“There is one boy in year one who is really frenetic inside, but when he gets outside with clay in his hands he is totally calm.

“The children seem to come alive outside, it is quite amazing really.”

The school also has a team of young foresters, who will be planting a separate forested area made up mostly of willow shortly before Easter.

Travis Washington, 10, said; “I like being a young forester because I like identifying trees. If you become a forester you learn how trees help us survive.

“If we protect them, they will protect us.”

The school’s young foresters have been preparing to get planting once they return from their Christmas break.

Ms Hood said: “They have designed their own little forest play area, which will be complementary to the forest school.

“They and all the other pupils will be looking after the trees in both areas as they grow and they will be litter picking and making sure they take care of it all.

“A lot of city schools do not have this sort of outdoor area, so to have Nicholson’s come in and put in an area like this is great.”