Our philosophy

Our philosophy

Happy, healthy and hungry to learn

Welcome to Essex Wildlife Trust’s pioneering Nature Nursery, an all-weather outdoor nursery, based on Scandinavian Nature Kindergartens and Forest Schools, where children have the freedom to learn through the natural world.

Located at Abbotts Hall Farm in Great Wigborough, near Colchester, and run by specialist Early Years teachers and Forest School practitioners, we aim to provide your child with a unique educational experience that develops a lifelong love of nature and skills for life.

About Essex Wildlife Trust

We have been delivering Forest School to children since 2008 and are the county’s leading trainer in Forest Schools. Delivering outstanding outdoor education is part of our charitable mission.

Having visited early years provision in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, we saw first-hand that learning outdoors at a young age provides the best possible start for children. We want the people of Essex to have the opportunity to develop a deep connection with the nature world at every age and stage of life. And no age is more important than nursery age.

The aim of the Nature Nursery is to help secure a healthier, happier, and more sustainable future. A future where every child is ‘wild’ is a future where the planet is in good hands. From this belief, Essex Wildlife Trust’s Nature Nursery was born.

Inspiring a lifelong love of nature

We believe that the only form of education that is fit for a sustainable future is an education based on a deep relationship with the natural world.

At the Nature Nursery, children have the opportunity to explore different habitats and natural processes, while learning about wildlife with the support of our expert staff. They are also directly involved in developing and maintaining the site. The nursery becomes their own ‘patch’.

This includes creating new areas for wildlife, such as log piles, hedgehog homes and tree planting; harvesting wood from Stable Wood for crafts and for use in the vegetable beds to make pea sticks; we grow seasonal vegetables, fruit flowers and herbs with organic methods; we harvest produce and cook meals; we collect seed for the following year and add fruit and vegetable peelings to compost bins to feed the worms and make compost for the plants.

Community is at the heart of what we do

Families are at the heart of what we do. At the Nature Nursery, we believe that a strong sense of community is essential to delivering meaningful education. Families are welcome to spend time in the nursery and benefit from the skills and interests of the whole community.

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Contact us

For further enquiries please call: 07730 217262 or email info@naturenursery.org.uk

Abbotts Hall Farm, Maldon Road, Great Wigborough, Colchester, CO5 7RZ