Squirrels Forest School - Frequently Asked Questions

1. How are you making activities Covid-safe?

You can read information about our Covid-19 procedures for day visits here. Please do not come to Suntrap if you have Covid-19 symptoms or have been asked to self isolate due to contact with someone with Covid-19. We will offer you an alternative date. On arrival everyone will have their temperature checked.

2. Who can come to Squirrels Forest School?

Squirrels is aimed at children over 18 months who are walking confidently, up to school-aged children. Because forest School is child-led, with a choice of activities on offer, we can comfortably cater for this age range. Siblings over 12 months will be charged, as they are likely to get involved on some level. Children must be accompanied by a carer, with a maximum of two children/infants per adult (including non-participating infants).

3. What about children under 1 and over 4 years old?

Infants under 12 months, can of course accompany you and they will not be charged. For children over 4 years, we recommend our Be Wild Club for more age-appropriate activities.

4. What activities take place during the session?

Forest School is led by the interests and abilities of the individuals. We will provide activities, resources and a wonderfully inspiring play-space, enabling your child can dip in and out as they choose. We will adapt what is offered according to weather, season and the children themselves, to give them the best opportunities for development. Activities available may include: splashing in the stream; building dens and dams; mud play; looking for minibeasts; balancing on logs; games and stories; simple crafts; trails and treasure hunts; exploring the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the natural world.

5. How many people can I make a booking for?

Providing you have one adult per two children (including babies), you can book larger groups (subject to availability of places). The minimum would be one adult and one child.

6. How do I book and pay?

To book please contact us. We will send you a booking form. Once we receive the booking form, we will send an invoice along with instructions for payment to secure your places.

7. How do I amend or cancel my booking?

If it is necessary for you to cancel or amend your booking, please inform Suntrap in writing as soon as possible. Cancellations or amendments will only be in place once Suntrap has responded to your request.

8. What facilities are there?

We will meet in our new outdoor classroom, from where you can use the accessible toilets and baby change facilities in the main building. You will also be able to refill water bottles. There is no cafe on site but see below for local eateries.

9. Can I stay on at Suntrap after the session?

Sorry you can't stay on site after the session, as we may have school groups using the site. However, if you are looking for somewhere to eat there are a number of cafes and pubs locally, such as public toilets at High BeachThe Kings Oak Cafe, The Original Tea Hut, The Acorn Tea HutThe Owl Pub. Alternatively, take a picnic into the forest (remembering to take your rubbish home with you). 

10. What should we bring?

Suitable clothing for the time of year:  We recommend a waterproof coat and trousers, wellies or walking boots for the majority of the year and a choice of layers for different activity levels. Due to Covid-19, we are currently not lending out spare waterproofs and wellies.

Food and drinks:  You are welcome to bring snacks but remember we will be out in the forest most of the time, without any hand washing facilities until we return to Suntrap at the end of the session.

11. What time should we arrive?

Please arrive at Suntrap between 9.45 and 10am as the session will begin promptly at 10am. From 10.15am onwards, it is likely that we will be in the forest. If you miss the arrival time unfortunately, we cannot wait for you to start our first activity.

12. Do you cancel in adverse weather conditions?

The sessions will run regardless of the weather - please make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions. In high winds we would not use the woodland but have plenty of activities that we can do in our grounds or building. If the weather makes it difficult to get to Suntrap then a decision may be made to cancel a session, we will contact you at the earliest opportunity and book you onto another session the following term, in lieu.

13. Is there local transport to get to Suntrap? 

More information to be found here.

14. Can I bring a bicycle?

Yes, we have bicycle stands available, and would encourage you to arrive by bike. The forest has many safe, traffic-free paths on which you can cycle. Is there a car park at Suntrap? There is limited on-site parking at Suntrap, so we would encourage you to come on foot or by bike, if possible. Find routes to Suntrap from Chingford or Loughton stations.