For Max, that meant trampling through piles of damp autumn leaves, throwing them in the air and playing kiss chase with his little pal, Celeste. For baby Bodhi, it was more about crawling through dewy grass, finding big leaves to twiddle between his forefinger and thumb, and putting dandelions in his mouth.
After 40 minutes, everyone slowly regrouped and walked a short distance, over another bridge, to the next piece of open land. Again, the children explored and the parents enjoyed being out in nature, keeping a not-so-watchful eye on them. ‘Finding activities to suit both a baby and toddler can be tricky,’ said mum-of-two Claire, ‘but these walks are free, open to everyone and suit a pram-aged baby, and a two-year-old who is desperate to run around. I love that we are all outdoors, together, for a couple of hours each week.’ And I agreed.
After our stint in the wilds of the marshes, we waved goodbye to the group and headed home for a nap. I can see why Forest Schools and activities like them are taking off in cities – it entirely satisfied any yearning I have for countryside life, realising I have a slice of it right on my doorstep. Words by Annie Ridout. Photographs by Alexander Rhind.
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