Forest Schools are inspiring places, designed to give children the opportunity to develop confidence and increase self-esteem in natural woodland. Nathan James Dodd suggests ten items that will useful in such an environment.
The weather forecast is for a sizzling summer and David Coton is already looking forward to preparing delicious barbecued food for his family and friends. Barbecues have become incredibly popular over recent years and here is David's guide on what to look out for when choosing one of these summer essentials.
The range of barbecues to choose from can be daunting, and your buying criteria can rest on a variety of factors ie how much use it will receive, what fuel you prefer and your budget, in addition to colour, size, running costs etc. This is our guide to making your decision easier:
Charcoal Barbecues use briquettes or heat beads that provide a more constant heat, or lumpwood that can attain high temperatures and doesn't contain any charcoal additives.
Gas Barbecues run on bottled propane gas
Portable Barbecues are lightweight enough to take anywhere, quick to set up and are therefore ideal for days out in the countryside or on the beach.
Buschbeck Masonry Barbecues can be made from a variety of stone and metal including granite and copper and can run on a variety of fuel. They are semi-permanent and can act as garden focal points as well as patio heaters.
Built-in Barbecues offer value for money and adaptability as they can be placed on a variety of surfaces for example bricks, slabs or concrete. Normally constructed from stainless steel, the latest technology can offer results comparable to full size barbecues.
Although cast iron will maintain heat better, steel grills are easier to clean; porcelain grills won't deteriorate, and are easy to clean, but can chip
This is an indication as to how large the barbecue needs to be for different numbers of people:
(Warming racks will enable these numbers to be increased)
You will need a few accessories to ensure food can be served quickly and with minimum fuss.
Other optional extras allow you to increase the range of food that can be cooked.
Chickens aren't difficult to look after, all they require is a constant supply of water and regular food. As Martyn Loach explains, you should keep an eye open for any ailments, and they'll need to be cleaned out once a week.
Timber garden decking never seems to lose its popularity, and why should it, when it's such a useful way of extending your living and entertaining space. Andy Taylor explains why decking is so easy to install and how best to look after it.
You can create the spookiest Halloween Party in town with a spine chilling cast of para-normal misfits including ghosts, ghouls, zombies, vampires and many other sinister characters who inhabit the dark side. David Coton tells you how to transform your home and garden into a thoroughly scary experience.
In October, David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that you should also now be planning ahead for next year.