The first forest school nursery in the Royal Borough of Greenwich is due to open in April.

The Woodland Nursery is the brainchild of mother-of-three Tracy Kennedy, who believes that outdoor learning is crucial to a child’s development. “I’ve believed in forest school education for a long time, ever since I read about it starting in Scandinavia in the 1950s,” she said.

“I believe it should be available to all young children, but instead of complaining about it I decided to go for it myself. I have a staff of one at the moment but there has been a lot of interest and I can get more people as we go along.

“The benefits of outdoor education are there for all to see. Children become more confident and self-aware, as well as learning great lessons about teamwork and individual responsibility.”

Tracy, who lives in Kidbrooke, got the idea after working for three years as a child minder and realising how children develop more positively outside of four walls and a ceiling.

“There’s been a lot of research and it’s been found that children who spent a lot of time outside, especially smaller children, have a greater sense of self-esteem and are more able to assess their own risks,” she said, “and in forest school classes the ratio of adults to children is much lower and they are able to have more one-to-one time.

“We will be using local woodlands like Oxleas Woods, Woodlands Farm and Maryon Wilson Park but we’re also looking at all the open spaces in the borough, including the ecology park in the Millennium Village – and even days just spent in Greenwich Park.”

*The Woodland Nursery will be holding an open day at Mycenae House, Mycenae Road, Blackheath, at 2pm on Saturday, February 21. Go to for more information or call Tracy on 07575 381795.