First cluster group meeting of 2019; Staffordshire Forest Education Cluster Group

We had our first cluster group of the year, this week at the Wolseley Centre plus continuing the theme from our first post, here a few more common plant IDs that might be useful, particularly with the recent mild weather.

We had our first cluster group of the year, this week at the Wolseley Centre. It was well attended and great opportunity to have a chat around the fire and see what everyone has been up to recently. After nice hot beverage of choice and maybe one too many biscuits. We had a look at some FS kit that maybe useful for some settings and then had a play with some hammocks and tarps. Exploring methods of putting them up, safe use and suitable knots. Some of those that attended also took away some green hazel rods from some recent coppicing up in our outdoor classroom.  

Kettle on fire

For those who maybe be interested, we have a NEW facebook page. The group is made up of Forest School leaders across Staffordshire, those within schools and small businesses. The group is not just exclusively for Forest School leaders, it is an open group for all involved with the education of children, young people and adults in a woodland setting, whether they are Forest School leaders, bushcraft instructors or outdoor educators.

The please refer to the link below; https://www.facebook.com/groups/763454973844752/
Our next meeting will be in early spring, open to suggestions on the theme and location of the meet up

Winter Plant Identification
Also, continuing the theme from our first post, here a few more common plant IDs that might be useful, particularly with the recent mild weather.

Snowdrops, they are out in bloom at the Wolseley centre and will be gone long before spring finally arrives. Often a plant that you don’t realise you have on your site until them bloom. Great to share with your learners, but look after them as they are sensitive to trampling.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops 

Wood Avens, a common plant of the woodland floor, in spring in will have petite yellow flowers, but it can be easily identified at this time of year by the unique leaves. A trifoliate leaf at the end of the leaf stalk with smaller leaves at regular intervals down the stem towards the root base.

Wood Avens

Wood Avens

Hellebores, members of the buttercup family. Hellebore species (native and introduced species) flower very early in the year and have large glossy and palmate leaves. They are adapted to shady conditions, so can often be found in woodlands.

Hellebores

Hellebores