Fairfield Children's Centre Food Growing and Forest Schools Development

After initial assistance from Newground’s Community Garden Makers, the design team were asked to develop ideas for food growing beds along a steeply sloping and inaccessible banking. We were also to show how a wooded area external to the school boundary could be developed into a forest schools space. The proposal developed into a design and build project with close collaboration from Lancashire County Council, Hyndburn Council and an adjacent primary school. We designed a series of bespoke raised beds set into the slope, meandering wood chip paths through and round the trees, with boardwalks across wetland and through scrub. This light touch treatment of paths emerges into open gathering spaces with canopy shelters and special timber seats. We have worked closely with our forest schools officers and reused all the timber off cuts from site as part of the best practice of forest schools activities.

The Centre had a wonderful tea party celebration as part of the opening and promotion of this unique facility for local young children. They will share the access also with the primary school.

"Through many barriers and challenges we were finally successful in creating a wonderful forest school space for our children and families to enjoy and access. Both Amelia and Mark from Newground were always available and understood our requirements. They were wonderful to work with,"  Sacha Walker-Byrne, Fairfield Children's Centre.


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