A SALISBURY-based nursery is the first early years provider in the county to be officially recognised as a forest school provider.

South Hills, which has six sites across Wiltshire and Dorset, has received recognition from the Forest School Association for its outdoor learning programme.

The nursery has always incorporated outdoor learning, on its forest and farm sites, but in January 2016 set up a specific team of three qualified forest school practitioners who now organise some outdoor activity for every day. Children take part in wood gathering, campfire building, outdoor cooking and the baby unit engages in sensory outdoor experiences.

Outdoor learning manager Imogen Dive said: “It’s learning about the world around them by experiencing it first hand. Children learn in a variety of ways and classroom-based can be quite limiting. At South Hills we kind of do a balance.”

“This is the recognition that we know what we are doing outdoors.”