Recent News at Hakeford Woods

We've had a really busy few months at Hakeford Woods, so I felt it was time for an update of the website. 

Regular Sessions

We're really proud to have been delivering regular Forest School sessions to three of our local schools for the last 3 years 

All of the students who have attended these weekly sessions have struggled in the mainstream education sector and attend specialist schools. 

We have seen some amazing developments in all of our regular attendees, who brave the wet and the cold throughout the winter and have enjoyed the dry and the heat of the Spring and Summer. Their regular time in the woods has enabled them to improve their physical and emotional confidence, helped them to develop new skills and coping mechanisms and given them a regular break from their regular education settings. 

Holiday Clubs

We have offered Holiday Club Sessions during most of the school holidays, with the exception of Christmas and February half term. These have proved to be really popular and we have been delighted to be able to provide these sessions for children booked privately by their families and also places booked and funded by  Devon County Council's Early Help team. 

Since 2017 the Holiday Club sessions were run by Georgie and Tim, as well as other qualified and experienced Forest School Leaders. Due to the restrictions in place this year we decided to put the Holiday Clubs on hold this summer. Hopefully we'll be getting back to offering them again soon. 

Roundhouse Mark II is coming soon.....
Support Received in for Hakeford Woods

Since Hakeford Woods started, we have been lucky enough to receive support in the form of financial and physical help.

Grant Funding for Wellbeing in Nature 

Since starting the Wellbeing in Nature group in the Autumn of 2017 for adults struggling with Mental Health challenges, we have seen the huge benefits brought by the sessions. We realised the importance of these sessions and were quick to begin applying for funding to support this provision. 

Out first grant which enabled us to get the sessions going again in the spring of 2018 was received from Recovery Devon who support projects running for those in recovery and struggling with Mental Health in the Devon area. Our next small grant was from the Sanctuary Grand Ideas Fund, this came through some of our clients being residents of Sanctuary supported living projects in the local area.

In the summer of 2018 we then received a significant grant from the Devon Community Foundation that enabled us to secure the project until the end of the year which was fantastic news for us and the regular attendees. The Devon Community Foundation helps to link funders and philanthropists with projects in the Devon community.

In the Autumn of 2018 we were one of the nominated good causes in the Tesco bags of help scheme running in the Braunton store. We were delighted to come second in the token collections and the grant received from this will help us develop this group and the associated Woodland Volunteer project 

We are now delighted to announce that we have received a large grant for the project from the National Lottery Community Fund. This has now enabled us to secure the Wellbeing in Nature project until the beginning of 2020. 

Fullabrook CIC 

We are extremely grateful to the Directors of Fullabrook CIC who agreed to provide funding to enable us to complete the Green Woodwork shelter at Hakeford Woods. The construction of this shelter has been ongoing over the last 6 months and we are at the final stages of completion before we can measure up for the tarpaulin that will be paid for with this grant. 

On completion, this shelter will provide us with an additional teaching area where we will be able to construct work benches, pole lathes, shave horses that will be used by our regular groups and participants on green woodwork courses that we hope to offer in the future. 

Westward Pathfinder and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust

It has been a massive help to receive help in the form of volunteer labour from a working party from Westward Pathfinder and the participants of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust's Get on Track Course.  

This extra help has enabled us to complete a number of jobs that had been on the "to do list", but were never actually getting done!

Thanks to the working party group, we now have an orchard enclosed by a deer proof fence (we hope!). The green woodworking shelter frame has been extended to give a large workshop space and we have managed to disguise the blue storage containers with sawmill offcuts kindly provided by Chivenor Sawmill

The participants of the Get on Track Course were a massive help for a day in April. The 16 young people and their elite Athlete mentors helped make some important improvements around the camp. Thanks to this help, the long awaited pizza oven is now nearing completion, we have a raised fire pit in the main riverside camp and have a new path leading to the roundhouse site. 

A big thanks goes to Ali Smart from Westward Pathfinder for organising these volunteer days. The help received on these days has made an enormous difference to the Forest School site and possibilities for the future.  

Children's University

We are really pleased to be recognised as an accredited provider by the Children's University.

Several local schools work with The Children's University (Plymouth) to recognise the value of activities that children take part in outside of their regular curriculum. If children are signed up to this programme they can receive stamps in their Children's University passport when they attend Holiday Clubs, Saturday Clubs and Wildlife Watch sessions.

Tree Planting

In March of 2017 we received Large Working Woodland Tree Pack from the Woodland Trust. The 420 trees arrived at short notice, but thanks to a group of about 30 fantastic volunteers (adults and children) we managed to get our mix of trees planted out before planting season was over. we'll be looking forward to seeing these new areas of woodland grow and develop in the coming years. 

We received another Tree planting pack in 2019 and were ably assisted but a great group of helpers to try and establish a wildlife friendly hedge along the side of the main track.