What an amazing day! It was a brilliant way for 12 adults to celebrate a 40th birthday with our 12 children (all under the age of 8). We travelled from Portsmouth, Henley, Torquay and Bristol... And my goodness it was worth the journey. From 3 year olds to 50 year olds, we were all totally engrossed in all the activities. The day completely surpassed all expectations. It was magical. The way the woods is set up with its different areas is enchanting. But it is your approach; and the way that you know when to step in, and when to step back to allow the freedom to explore that are the icing on the cake. The children said it was "cool" and "I loved it". So thank you for a fabulous day that will stay forever in our memories. Six months on and every visit to the woods involves us reminiscing about that special day.
The Boddington, Bielec, Boden, Churchill, Haines and Shirley families
Our day in the woods with Louise and her colleagues left my staff buzzing! They could not wait to get back into the classroom and put into practice some of the ideas that they had learnt. From a developmental angle, the INSET also really brought the staff together; it was fantastic to see them working together so closely whilst thoroughly enjoying themselves. One member of staff captured the day perfectly when she commented 'the best INSET ever!
I found Louise in the centre
of the coming and goings in the process
of rescuing the sausages from the
fire. She managed to achieve this
whilst greeting me heartily and answering
two or three children’s questions
I was immediately impressed by Louise’s
unflustered, non-intrusive approach
with the children.
The Woodland Play Centre have
had a presence at all of the Leadership
events I held at the University, but
most importantly, I invited Louise
to present at a closed event of academics,
creatives and government, to talk
on Toxic Childhood.
Her knowledge of play and forest school,
her teaching skills, her love of children
and her desire to instill fun and
play in all – both young and old
– made her a perfect choice.
Her belief in combating ‘toxic
childhood’ means that she carries,
throughout her work in the Woodland
Play Centre, the need to change the
world that our children live in, giving
them something pure and precious,
that they can carry within them, throughout
The Woodland Play Centre really
gives children and adults (families)
the chance to experience nature, to
play with it, to be nourished by it
and to find the freedom that many
adults had as children, and that many
children these days do not get.
As a Ranger for the Quantock Hills
AONB Service and Forestry Commission
I have known and worked with Louise
Kennedy for three years, organising
permissions to use land owned by Somerset
County Council and to work in partnership
to put on "Wild Play Days"
for the Forestry Commission.
Louise is most definitely someone
I believe can connect with a diverse
age range working with children to
adults or mixed ages such as families.
Louise’s consideration to her
groups ensures that she makes the
most of the Quantock Hills natural
environment so that whilst the activities
are well risk assessed they maintain
a real and natural feel. The consideration
also given to the sites Louise uses
guarantees that they are left seemingly
Louise provided a fantastic location, a wealth of experience, endless patience and good humour to allow me to hold a fantastic 40th birthday party. Adults and children enjoyed the fun of being outdoors regardless of the weather! Seeing the den building teams in action (with a 72 year old grandmother leading the way followed by a host of kids whose parents, whilst joining in, were forgetting all the stress of modern living) was marvellous! I have some brilliant memories to keep of my friends and family which I will treasure; thanks Lou!
Just to thank you on William's behalf for a fantastic day with you last week. Will said it was the best ever - he absolutely loved the whole rabbit skinning / gutting / eating process and we had a blow by blow account!!
Thank you once again for a fabulous afternoon. Scarlett was thrilled and as she said the 'best birthday party ever!' It was lovely to see them 'deconstruct' and get down and dirty!
.. a massive thank you for making
Max's birthday such a success last weekend.
It was a brilliant party, the kids had
a ball, and Marc and I loved it too!
The children had a great time as we
could see from their faces. My daughter
especially!!!! (They didn't want
You have a great and unique site which
is perfect for the activities. I can
see you have put a huge effort to create the
setting and I can appreciate the amount
of work it takes. Every now and again
it's nice to have a pat on the back.
Well here it is.
Just to say thankyou for making Archie's
party such a success. All the children
had a fantastic time and it is very
lovely as a parent to see them having
a great time doing practical stuff!
I think your wood is fantastic and a
perfect setting for your parties/activity
days. Thank you again
Louise has great capacity to concentrate
on the play aspect of learning, as
well as incorporate into the work
of the national curriculum.
It is absolutely because of Louise
and the Woodland Play Centre that
my own daughter now goes to Forest
School, can walk for 3 hours on the
Quantocks in the rain, and find frogs
and toads in pools where no frogs
are found, or monsters and dragons,
in the trees.
I will always be grateful to Louise
for having inspired this in her –
and she is still only 4!
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