See what the kids think of us!

Over the life span of the Wild Things campaign we have gathered hundreds of quotes and pieces of feedback, from both the children and young people, and the adults who support them. There are far too many to include here, but here are just a few that we believe show a window into the world of benefits that time outside can bring to children and young people:

Emotional Benefits

Feedback from Children and Young People:

“I feel so alive!” (Forest Fields Primary)

“It feels like you’ve got loads of room to yourself out here – it makes me feel happy!” (Dunkirk Primary)

“I was born for this!” (Berridge Primary)


“I feel like a queen when I’m in the woods!” (Bentinck Primary)

“This feels so relaxing – I feel like my brain has been washed!” (Nottingham Refugee Forum)

“I’m bored of technology – I like it here!” (Bentinck Primary)

“I don’t want to go to McDonald’s, I want to come to the woods again instead!” (Action for Children)

“I wish I could catch a leaf – if I do I’m going to wish that I could stay in these woods forever – I’ve never been to a wood before.” (10-year old, Claremont Primary)

“I think I’m going to make memories out here.” (Rufford Primary)

“You have brought me to the most wonderful place I have ever been in all my life!” (Berridge EAL Forest School group)

“Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking of this place and now I’m here! I’ve told my mum about this place and maybe one day she’ll come and see it too!” (Berridge EAL)

“I’ve been waiting for three years to come to Wild Things!” (Rufford Primary)


“Coming to Wild Things is my dream come true! Everyone in school has talked about it so much. I’m trying not to be anxious but I really want to do everything! (Rufford Primary)

“I never get to go to the woods because my sister has cancer so we don’t go out much.” (Dunkirk Primary)

“I used to explore the woods all the time in Romania when I was little, I’d go to the woods with friends and we’d eat and camp – where I live now there’s a big road and I never get to explore. I’ve lived here for three years now and I’ve never been to the woods in this country! Look at how beautiful it is here!” (Berridge Primary)

“I really miss Pakistan because we were always outside – people here just watch television all the time. I can’t believe these woods are here and I never knew!” (Bentinck Primary)

“This reminds me of back home – I just feel relaxed here.” (13-year old, Nottingham Refugee Forum)

“I love these woods – I feel like I know this place. In my country everyone knows being outside. My family are mountain people. We know about plants and animals.” (St Mary’s Primary)

“I like being outside – in my country houses are just for sleeping in! Kids would be carving, going for walks, running free.” (Claremont Primary)

“I love the sound of the insects in the woods in Romania – it hums! We slept outside in the summer when it’s too hot and you can hear it hum all night! I miss Romania. I’d love to come here again in the summer and hear the sounds and lie on the grass.” (Berridge Primary)

“I used to play in the woods all the time in Poland – just me and my best friend – we used to make spears and be wild – I like that we are getting to do this here too!” (St Mary’s Primary)

... and from Children's and Young People's Support Workers:

“It was a very positive experience. There were children there who had been unhappy for a long time and they were smiling and carefree.” (Ollerton Primary)

“I cannot say enough good things about Wild Things and Forest School. The benefits I have seen in the children have quite frankly been amazing. The staff are amazing and hve helped the children’s voices be heard.” (Claremont Primary)

“Some of these children have very difficult home lives and are noticeably more stressed as we get nearer the holidays, so having this positive experience is even more important to them.” (Claremont Primary TA)

“… some of the children within the group come from quite chaotic home lives. So this opportunity provided them with some respite from their everyday lives. The children really looked forward to each Friday; whenever they saw me around school they would make a comment about how excited they were for the next session.” (Bentinck Primary School)

“Our children desperately need this experience – keep doing what you’re doing, you make such a difference to our children …” (Mellers Primary)

“You wouldn’t recognize them back at school!” (Radford Primary)


“They’ve all lived for Forest School.” (Snapewood Primary)

“All their parents have mentioned it – they say it’s all their children talk about.” (Snapewood Primary)

“Our young people had a fantastic time at Shining Cliff Woods! Their only comment was that they wish they could have stayed longer. I was really pleased to hear some of them say that they would like to go camping sometime (considering what they have had to go through just to survive, in places like the Jungle in Calais, it was lovely to hear them say this). Thank you for giving them such a wonderful experience!” (Feedback from Virtual School who support un-accompanied asylum seeker children and young people).

Social Benefits

Feedback from Children and Young People:

“I did not know the other children very well before Wild Things and now I do and now they’re my friends.” (Berridge Primary)


“My Dad doesn’t let me go on school journeys with the others. He’s really strict with me and my sister. I’m so glad I got picked for Wild Things ‘cos I’m getting to do stuff like this here!” (all-girls programme, Mellers Primary)

... and from Children's and Young People's Support Workers:

“Children who do not normally participate in class activities (afraid of failure etc) have become talkative, smiled more and had something to look forward to. They show measurable improvement in social skills and form friendships more easily … they are excited and eager to get to school on Forest School days! (Ollerton Juniors)

“I’m really pleased to see ‘H’ so confident – it’s such a surprise to see her like this, as in the classroom she is so quiet – she has only been in the country for a few months. Out here she just looks so alive!” (Claremont Primary)

“Our EAL girls might not get this experience any other time in their lives – the chance to take a closer look at nature and get to do such practical tool based things – it’s just so hands on.” (Claremont Primary)

“The children were, in their words, blown away by the variety of tools they were entrusted to use. They couldn’t believe they would be able to handle knives and axes themselves. The young people rose to the challenge and really took on board the safety aspects and respect that these tools required for safe use. Because of the trust placed in the children and the results of their efforts, creating working mallets, felling trees and whittling sticks, I am positive that self-esteem and confidence levels rose. Certainly there were quite a few of the participants expressing doubts they could complete some of the tasks beforehand.” (Dunkirk Primary)

“As a Victorian School we have no access to any green space – the children’s time is spent between the classrooms (where the majority of learning takes place) and the concrete playground. We simply do not have the opportunity to develop skills best learnt through learning outdoors such as resilience, confidence building and team building skills. Our nearest green space is the Forest Recreational Ground which is over a mile away. Also, the majority of our catchment area is terrace housing with small concrete yards and no green space.”

“22% of our girls are entitled to Pupil Premium funding – a grant that supports pupils from deprived backgrounds. These children come from families who are often deprived from experiencing activities out of school due to the family finances. By sending our pupil premium girls we would be giving them an opportunity that their families would not be able to offer them.” (Berridge Primary)

“Thanks for a super morning … the children had a fantastic day again. Practical and social skills are really given a chance to develop in this environment where safety and team work are paramount. Many of our children have had no previous schooling until recently and this is an opportunity to catch up on the socialising that would have otherwise been done in early years education, Your team shows patience, sets clear boundaries and models positive behaviours in a way that is nurturing and instructive. Many thanks for this unique experience.” (Berridge EAL Unit)

“Thank you! The girls have loved every minute of Wild Things and they have gained so much confidence. They have looked forward to each session and take a few days to stop talking to each other, and others, about what they did. It has been an opportunity that most of them would probably not have had access to previously, so it has been an extremely valuable experience. They’ve learnt so many new things (and so have I)!” (Dunkirk Primary)

“You wouldn’t believe it out here in the woods, but at school these are the quiet ones, the ones who never want to lead and no-one wants to be their partner!” (Berridge Primary)

“You don’t usually talk, do you!” (Claremont Primary teacher commenting on a normally silent child chatting with others in the woods)

“They are getting more confident each week – their experiences at Forest School and the structure of circle time with the chance for them to plan their own sessions is helping them know that it’s ok as girls to make decisions!” (Claremont Primary)

“They acted very differently. Out here I felt that I saw a different side to them! They were more confident and achieved in a different way. These are girls that didn’t always academically achieve so it was lovely to see them accessing and achieving in a woodland space. It really boosted their confidence.” (Claremont Primary)

Some Educational Benefits

From Children and Young People:

“Thank you for all the great things you showed us we never thought we could do it till now and we love coming and every time we come we learn something new, thank you for everything.” (thank you letter from child from Bentinck Primary)

“I’m going to bring my children here when I’m a teacher!” (9-year-old girl from an EAL school unit)


... and from support staff:

“They absolutely loved it – they were all engaged, enthusiastic and involved all of the time. I have never seen some of the children in my class so enthusiastic about learning.” (Walter Halls Primary)

“It’s been really good for those children who struggle academically, they thrive in this type of environment, it’s great for their self-esteem, they are just buzzing. Without a doubt, these children have gained confidence and this has been evident in all aspects of school life.” (TA from Mellers Primary)

“I’ve never seen him this excited and interested in anything before … the group has been talking about Forest School all week.” (TA from Berridge Primary)

“In terms of learning each child had the opportunity to succeed at their chosen projects throughout the programme and it was great that activities could be revisited to allow completion as skills and confidence grew. This helps to embed the “don’t give up” idea with some of the children who are only too ready to stop at the first obstacle when facing new challenges.” (Dunkirk Primary TA)

“90% of our girls are EAL. They need to experience learning by ‘doing’ and using all their senses. Outdoor Learning is a great way to support this. Working outdoors will support their communication skills and help break down the language barriers.” (Berridge Primary, Senior Management Team)

“It’s so good for those with less English – it really helps their confidence – we have lots more EAL children who would thrive out here.” (Claremont Primary TA)

“I think giving the children the opportunity to learn new skills and to just learn in a natural environment has benefited the group in a big way. They have appeared more focused, relaxed and happy, enabling them to enjoy and learn much easier.” (Forest Fields Primary)

“Personally, I have learnt how much being in this setting can de-stress and benefit children and may use more outdoor learning when children are worried about academic challenges, such as SATs.” (Dunkirk Primary)

“Back at school most of the group have been more open and enthusiastic and happy to try new challenges.” (St Mary’s Primary)

“One child came into school one particular Wednesday specifically to attend Wild Things! Another child, who often arrives late, made a special effort to be on time in order to attend Wild Things.” (Dunkirk Primary)

“Children in our group have different special educational needs but what they all have in common is that they struggle to fit in an ordinary class and school environment. The Forest School provision by the Wild Things has given the children an opportunity to engage in learning in an alternative setting which they respond to positively. Activities organised by Wild Things require children to listen, follow instructions and work through a process to achieve an end result (be it, for an example, making a nettle soup or a wooden pendant). This requires children to exercise and develop their communication skills, cooperation as well as individual contribution and responsibility. As children work in a relaxed but stimulating environment, and the tasks are practical with tangible outcomes, the children willingly engage and apply themselves. This helps build their confidence and widens their life experiences which is of great benefit in and outside the regular school provision.” (Dunkirk Primary)

Benefits to the Environment for All

Children's Feedback:

“I love these woods. We really need to look after places like this because without the trees we’d die.”

“We’re all in the Woodland Tribe now!” (Nottingham Refugee Forum)

“I don’t know, I just feel like I’ve come home.” (Berridge Primary)