It has been wonderful to see how people have turned to and tuned into nature during this Covid19 pandemic. Technology has allowed us to communicate with each other in a way that means that we can share the tiniest detail of the discoveries about nature, wildlife and ourselves that we are making.
This morning, I watched a second-long snippet of an owl caught on a trail camera. Last night, I shared the footage to our local mammal group of badger families playing together that had been captured by the trail camera of another group. Over the weekend, I did two days of a First Aid Course online with Metabolous Education CIC and it was engaging beyond my expectations. Citizen Science online has allowed people across the world take part in species surveys informed by their observations. As an organisation, we have communicated with and shared news and resources with the communities we work with on a weekly basis. Seeing their faces, reading their comments or hearing their voices for a few minutes has brought so much happiness and connection.
For Forest School leaders, the move by the government to allow and actively encourage people to spend time outdoors to exercise and be in nature daily through the pandemic is positive. Our social media feeds are full of our families spending time together in their local green spaces. It is a moment full of hope and optimism that finally people will realise the value of what has always been here around us and how interconnected we are to the wider ecosystem. It is creating valuable opportunities for people to recognise the benefits of creating habits that develop deep nature connectedness. At Muddy Puddle Club CIC, we happily recognise this nature connectedness as a major by-product of our commitment to our long term immersive programmes led by qualified and experienced practitioners.
As parents and outdoor educators, we are delighted to see the beginnings of widespread realisation growing across the world that our children learn best when they are outside. Families replicating school at home are realising just why we have been campaigning so hard and encouraging whole school staff training on using their 'outdoor classroom'. Our children thrive when they spend time outdoors. They develop a better capacity to learn, behaviour improves and the chances of good mental health increase. Every child deserves this opportunity and we are proud to be part of a community that strives to provide it for them.
There are magical collaborations ahead and a determination within our Forest School communities to challenge ourselves and each other to go beyond sustainability in terms of our whole organisational ethos. At Muddy Puddle Club CIC, we have constantly worked to keep true to the six principles of Forest School and we look forward to these new developments. Research is on our side and these are exciting times!
Thank you to Phil Barnett (robymilling.blogspot.co.uk) for allowing the use of his beautiful photograph shown above.