Exploring Nature Play: Greenwood working

  • DATE: September 2013

Making and building with natural materials at Fort Apache Adventure Playground, Torbay.

The magical part of Exploring Nature Play is that it’s for all ages and abilities.

When our nature play worker arrived at Fort Apache as part of the Exploring Nature Play project, the children and young people had already been making pointy sticks and learning the basics of wood whittling, and were ready for something more. Pete, who had been working with them is a greenwood worker, was keen to build the children’s skills and interest.

With funding from the project they were able to purchase suitable tools and also pay for Pete to work with the children to make shaving horses. Since then the children have also learnt how to split greenwood, shave it and make mallets, spatulas and butter knives.

Greenwood working is very therapeutic and is engaging for most of the children. The group have an understanding about health and safety when working with tools, and the local community are more at ease now seeing children expertly using knives and saws.

One of the young lads who has been part of the project now thinks that he would like to be a carpenter when he grows up, and thinks that learning these new skills has changed him.

Other adult members of the team have also learnt some of the basics from Pete and offer some simple greenwood working as a regular activity at Fort Apache.