Top Ten Pieces Of Equipment For A Forest School

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.

Created by David Coton on Friday, 20th of May, 2016.
Updated on Thursday, 5th of December, 2019.


In a Forest School each child is inspired to engage in tasks and achieve goals in a positive natural environment. GardenSite offers many items of equipment and structures that can contribute to their success.

Benches are clearly useful for the children to sit while engaged in many activities. This can be a simple sleeper bench, something more ornate or, possibly most appropriate to a forest school, a half circle tree seat.

There are tables of many different sizes, square rectangular or circular. Sturdy stand alone styles or picnic tables that can seat ten children or more, either on benches or stools around a generously sized table top.

Covers are available to protect the tables, benches and chairs during bad weather but these are not entirely necessary as pressure treated timber is guaranteed to last for many years.

Secure Sheds

Sheds must be almost obligatory to secure tools and equipment of all sorts, and there is a tremendous choice constructed from metal, plastic and timber.

To fit in with the surroundings, timber security sheds are available with small high windows or none at all that keep contents out of view. High value items, perhaps mountain bikes, can also be stored safely in specialist high security lockers.

Greenhouses will encourage horticultural interest and there have been several reports from various credible sources  showing evidence that gardening has many very positive benefits including increasing self-esteem.

Pergolas and gazebos are useful structures for any activity that needs to take place under cover. The large Kalahari Oval Pavilion Gazebo is a fine example of how substantial these can be, accommodating a large number of people. 

Although artificial grass might seem an anachronism in this environment, it is very useful in high traffic areas. This might well be the case when the Buschbeck masonry barbecue is fired up, especially as it can be used as a log burner once the food has been eaten.

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