News & Blogs

Our dedicated page to all things current from Suntrap. We'll be bringing you up-to-date information on our centre, upcoming news.

Visit our Diary of events and activities page and update your calendar!

Interested to read more local environmental news?  Then catch up on our wide-ranging topical blog posts here


  • Top UK Greenest School Menu League

    Congratulations to Waltham Forest Catering

    Our residential visitors enjoy a tasty vegetarian menu choice served up by Waltham Forest Catering.

    You're in safe hands as they recently topped the UK Greenest School Menu League, serving up one million plant-based school meals a year across 50 local primary schools. 

    More about our menu
  • Forest clean up & picnic

    Saturday 2 April 2022

    On Saturday 2 April we hosted a forest clean & picnic at Suntrap with our partners, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) as part of the Million Mile Clean. It was so much fun and worthwhile that we plan to host more clean-ups.

    Read more on upcoming events
  • Waltham Forest School Governors Training

    Wednesday 20 April 2022

    Suntrap is opening our doors between 6.00-8.00pm to show Waltham Forest school governors around the site. There'll be a session full of practical advice and inspiration to make impactful change at school to reduce carbon emissions and details of support and resources available.

    Read more on climate learning
  • Young people can save the climate crisis...

    But should they have to?

    On Monday 25 April from 5.00-6.00pm we're hosting the first online debate in a series of Climate Conversations for young people in Waltham Forest. “OUR FUTURE” is a series of talks, workshops and discussions about some of the key issues surrounding the climate and ecological crisis. 

    Sign up for the debate here
  • Eco Adventure Free Holiday Club (lunch included!)*

    Monday 4 – Thursday 7 April 2022

    *Available only for 11 to 14 year olds living or at school in Waltham Forest, eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Four fun-packed days of nature-based activities in Epping Forest. Explore woodlands, navigate through the forest, build your own shelter, light a fire & cook on it, get hands-on with animals. Free shuttle bus pick up from Chingford station. 

    Book your space
  • Everything a school needs to know to book a trip

    Packed full for curriculum ideas!

    We have compiled all our details for residential and day trip school activities into one handy brochure.

    This is a perfect introduction to all that Suntrap has to offer schools, organised in any easy format with a breakdown of how each of our activities  link up to the National Curriculum.  


    Read about our offers
  • February 2022 Half Term

    Free activities!

    During the February school half term, you'll find us at Fellowship Square in the grounds of Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road, E17 4JF. We'll be running eco craft sessions on making bird feeders at the free pop up play sessions. Tuesday 15 February 10.00am - 12.00 noon Wednesday 16 February 1.00pm - 3.00pm Thursday 17 February 10.00am - 12.00 noon

    Find out how to make bird feeder here
  • Climate Youth Panel

    KS4 Students in Waltham Forest Schools

    If you're a young person living or attending school in Waltham Forest click here to apply and ensure your voice is at the centre of our climate change plans.

    Contact  to find out more about our Climate Leadership Programme. 

    Read more here
  • Climate Action Teach-Meets

    Support for Waltham Forest Schools

    Eco-Leads and other interested teachers join us for half-termly networking and CPD events.

    Spring 1 Teach-Meet: How to achieve an Eco-Schools Green Flag - practical guide and accessing funding

    Secondary schools and colleges session - Tuesday 8 February, 4 - 5 pm

    Contact to find out more about becoming an Eco-Lead

    More information here
  • Stop the press!

    Franky Misku shares his experience

    Waltham Forest Climate Summit for schools and colleges culminated with students from ten schools and colleges convening at the Town Hall – along with The Leader, Cllr Grace Williams and local climate groups – to discuss their vision for the future and how we can all work together to address climate change.

    Budding environmental journalist, Franky Misku (photo) from Willowfield School shares his experience of the conference in the December issue of local paper Waltham Forest Echo.

    Read more here
  • Plant Pot Placard family activity

    Thursday 28 October 2021

    Join us at our Plant Pod Placard nature session at Fellowship Square E17 4JF on Thursday 28 October 2021 from 11.00am to 1.30pm.

    Free planet-friendly family activity that links up with our Waltham Forest Climate Summit for Schools and Colleges.   

    More on climate summit
  • Waltham Forest Climate Summit

    Monday 8 November - Friday 12 November 2021

    Waltham Forest is running its first online schools and colleges Climate Summit. This free week-long event will inspire and motivate learners of all ages with the resources, skills, and knowledge necessary to effect change. Following on schools will be supported to obtain their Eco-School flags, awarded to celebrate the ecological achievements of pupils. 

    Read here on how to get involved
  • Let's Go Zero 2030

    Sign up today!

    Has your school joined Let’s Go Zero?

    This national campaign is demanding the government to  back zero carbon schools. Every school that signs up is pledging to work towards a more sustainable future, while also urging the government to support this vital mission.

    Read more here
  • Learning Outside the Classroom

    Renewed Autumn 2021

    Since reopening we have had our LOtC Quality Badge renewed.  This is endorsed by the Department for Education, this national award combines learning and safety into ONE easily recognisable and trusted award for ALL types of learning outside the classroom provider organisation.

    More on outdoor learning
  • Exciting eco competiton

    Child Obesity Taskforce

    We provide visitors with unlimited water straight from the tap and we don't provide fizzy drinks.

    With that in mind we're excited to share this good for the eco competition with two categories split between primary and secondary pupils. Get involved and design your own advertising campaign to promote water from a tap. Entries close on Friday 1 October 2021.

    Read more about the competiton
  • On the hunt for young nature lovers

    The Guardian newspaper

    Do you know any young people aged 8 -14 who'd enjoy writing about the natural world? Whether its bird or bee or nettle or tree? If you do encourage them to apply to the national newspaper, The Guardian who's on the hunt for new writers.


    Find out more
  • Schools we've found a way to save a fortune

    And help save the planet!

    Save a fortune. Save the planet. Reyooz clears unwanted office furniture and equipment from large corporate businesses and gives it to schools free or at large discounts. Zero waste means massive carbon savings and a healthier, happier planet. The more we reuse, the more we do for the environment.

    Find out more
  • Welcome Poppy Flint!

    Climate Action Outreach Coordinator

    Suntrap takes the climate crisis very seriously and we're excited to welcome Poppy Flint as our newly appointed Climate Action Outreach Coordinator.

    Poppy promotes the belief that education is a climate solution and vital for inspiring and preparing people of all ages for a thriving future. We know she'll be a real asset for Suntrap and the wider community  

    More about the Suntrap team
  • We're looking for a new tutor!

    Friday 27 August 2021 deadline

    Come and join us at Suntrap! We’re looking for an enthusiastic tutor with a love of outdoor environmental education and the natural world to work in the best classroom in the world - Epping Forest.

    Closing date Friday 27 August 2021

    Find out more here
  • Young people we need your help!

    Deadline to apply Wednesday 25 August 2021

    At Suntrap we hope to create the next generation of environmental leaders. Through education we aim to inspire young people to take ownership of enviro-causes which resonate with them and empower them with the confidence to stand up for what they believe is right. If that sounds like you find out more about upcoming Climate Conference and how you can get involved. 

    Read more here
  • Grow Back Greener Fund 2021

    Applications now open.

    Grants programme co-funded by the Mayor of London and Thames Water for London community projects that'll improve access to green space and help us adapt to climate change.  Applications are open until 5:00pm on Monday 13 September and schools can apply! 

    Apply here
  • Calling out for Earth Cubs!

    Free app

    This free app for children under seven is developed from a desire to make planet saving exciting, entertaining, and achievable. On the site are a wide range of curriculum resources for teachers and schools to bring sustainability into the classroom helping pupils to understand and love the amazing ecosystems and cultures both locally and globally through literacy and creative skills.

    Find out more
  • Tiny Forest in Waltham Forest

    Applications open July 2021

    Tiny Forest Willmott Dixon Interiors working with Waltham Forest Council are planning, funding and planting a ‘Tiny Forest’ in Waltham Forest. A Tiny Forest is a densely planted area the size of a tennis court (at least 2,000m2) containing around 600 trees, with species specially selected to enhance local nature. For more info contact:

    Visit their site
  • Clean Air Day

    Thursday 17 June 2021

    Let's protect our children's health from air pollution this Clean Air Day. The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today. 

    We combat this by planting native trees which soak up the harmful carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Our link takes you to free resources for you to get involved.

    Browse here for free resources
  • Home from home

    Suntrap site news

    On all sides of our outdoor animal homes are a range of bug hotels as well as a green roof. Our desirable residencies will benefit lots of different types of minibeast and insects such as ladybirds, bees, spiders and woodlice. Minibeasts will be able to use our bug hotels as a safe space to shelter, lay their eggs, raise their young, and seek refuge from predators.

    Read more on our animals
  • London Climate Action Week 

    Saturday 26 June - Sunday 4 July 2021

    Take part in this city-wide annual event focused on tackling climate change.

    There are lots of different ways to get involved following the 5 R's mantra of reduce, refuse, recycle, reuse and rot. Throughout this week we'll be sharing daily on our social media actions to safeguard our natural world from the dangers of climate change. Do one or even all seven - please join us as there are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them!

    Read our statement
  • Waltham Forest and Redbridge School Business Professionals Conference and Exhibition 2021

    On Friday 2 July 2021 at the Prince Regent Hotel in Chigwell a conference will be held for Business and Office Managers from schools in the area. Suntrap will be one of the exhibitors sharing all our offers for schools - we've even donated a prize to the raffle.

    Book here
  • Climate Change Education

    Support for teachers

    How confident and supported do you feel in teaching climate education or speaking to those around you? Find out some of the current initiatives to make climate literacy a priority without overloading teachers.

    Read more here
  • Outdoor Classroom Day

    Thursday 20 May 2021

    Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child’s day. On this day, teachers are encouraged to take children outdoors to play and learn.

    We can't wait to put our new outdoor classroom to good use!.

    Read more on outdoor learning
  • Mental Health Awareness Week

    Get outside

    Mental Health Awareness Week is running from Monday 10 May to Sunday 16 May 2021 and this year's theme is Nature which of course is the great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future.

    Read more
  • Information signs across the site

    Illustrator Emma Smith

    Across Suntrap you'll find strategically placed interpretation boards displaying information about our meadows and hedgerows, wildlife habitats, invertebrates and honey bees.

    Emma Smith, a local artist has been commissioned to create the signs and we can't wait to unveil them!

    Order your illustrations of Suntrap
  • One Fir all!

    Landscaping the site April 2021

    The Scots pine is a truly stunning coniferous tree and is Britain's only native pine. During our major landscaping, three will be planted along with other native trees. The Scots pine can grow to 30 metres high with a diameter of about 1 meter but can grow larger - wonder how tall they'll be when we celebrate 100 years of Suntrap in 2067!

    Read more about native trees
  • Why is the ground dirty?

    and other memorable comments from children.

    Suntrap Tutor, Louise, reflects on some memorable comments and how they indicate the importance of children's outdoor experiences.

    Read more here
  • New Countryside Code launched to help people enjoy the outdoors

    Last updated a decade ago, the revised Countryside Code provides simple guidelines to help visitors to enjoy and respect the natural world and contains new guidance on things such as foraging, feeding livestock and bagging dog poo.

    Revised Countryside Code
  • The study of spring

    Climate change is affecting key events

    It's the time of year when we notice many signs of spring all around us. Did you know that you can submit your findings to help scientists protect biodiversity?

    Find out more
  • 'Solastalgia'

    How environmental change affects us

    Environmental degradation, whether close to home or further afield, can have a profound effect on us. We explore possible emotional responses and how to turn these into positives, especially for young people.

    Read the article here
  • Nature is in trouble

    Sign the petition

    Nature is in trouble. In the UK, almost half of our wildlife is in long term decline. We are one of the most nature deprived countries in the world. To combat this, please help us to urge the government to enshrine their nature recovery targets in law and so be held accountable for them. Sign up to the linked petition set up by RSPB on behalf of the Wildlife and Countryside LINK Coalition.

    Sign the petition
  • World Wildlife Day

    Wednesday 3 March 2021

    In celebration of World Wildlife Day we are keeping our ponds clear of plants which would otherwise choke and degrade the habitat.   We found a couple of toads that we gently returned to the water unharmed.

    Meet more on our animals
  • Outdoor classroom taking shape

    Latest update March 2021

    The outdoor classroom is progressing well and is now ready for the roofing to be installed.  Our terraced garden at the back of the building has its top soil ready to be seeded.  A gently graded path leads from the main building up through the garden to the outdoor classroom. 

    supporting outdoor learning
  • Butterfly Conservation

    Big City Butterflies project

    Suntrap plans to be part of the Big City Butterflies project launched Spring 2021.  We're getting involved as findings will play an important part of conservation practices.   The project presents a huge opportunity to test new approaches to conservation and inspire Londoners to discover butterflies and moths.  

    Read more on funding
  • Free support calls

    Support for schools and teachers

    We're offering out free outdoor learning support calls for schools and teachers.

    These short 15 minute calls allow us to share ideas, resources and training all specially selected for you. If this would be of benefit contact us to book a time that works for you!

    Contact us to book
  • Keeping your visit safe

    Guidance coming out in February 2021

    Guidance coming out in February 2021 from the Department for Education jointly with Public Health England on restarting residential school travel sector in Easter 2021. New protocols to show we’re safe to operate. Development of a bespoke school cancellation insurance scheme to allow schools to book with confidence.

    Read more about school trips
  • Squirrels Forest School

    Reopening Monday 26 April 2021

    Book your space now! Come and join us every other Monday during term time, from 10am-12 noon, for fun and adventure in Epping Forest. Squirrels Forest School is for children from 18 months (who are walking confidently) up to school-age, along with their carer. Explore, play and make friends and best of all you get to encourage your children early to have a lot of nature. 

    Read more about Squirrels CLub
  • Be Wild Saturday club

    Reopening 17 April 2021

    Book your space now! Discover family forest fun and be inspired at our Be Wild Club. A wild adventure on the first and third Saturday of each month, for children aged 4-11 years old and their carers. Have fun exploring Epping Forest come rain or shine! Join us to discover more about this amazing wild space on the edge of East London.

    Read more about our Be Wild club
  • Guardians of the Forest

    On-line in January, the Suntrap team met young people from the Waltham Forest Young Advisors and the Youth Independent Advisors Groups.

    Plans for the future include:  Guided walks in Epping Forest Setting up a Youth Group Support in eco-activism.

    Our offer for young people
  • Raising the roof

    A sedum garden roof has been used for our recycling store. A living green roof that'll improve air quality and provide a fabulous habitat for wildlife. One of the many ways Suntrap will be tackling the effects of climate change.

    Read more about our eco changes
  • RSPB Big Bird Watch

    Monday 1at - Monday 22nd February 2021

    In JFebruary the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is happening.  Join in and contribute to an impressive amount of comparative data., the findings provide an important insight into how our wildlife is faring. Click to read top birdwatching tips from our patron, David Lindo, 'The Urban Birder'

    Read top birdwatching tips
  • Waltham Forest Climate Emergency Commission:

    A Call to Action

    One of the recommendations is to educate young people about the Climate Emergency and empower them to take action by embedding it within the school curriculum and providing them with a platform to lead the borough. Suntrap wholeheartedly supports this recommendation and will aim to play a a pivotal role in 2021.

    Read our statement
  • Generation Tree: How young people can plant, protect and promote urban trees.

    At Suntrap we’re always looking at new ways to encourage young people to get involved with the natural world. We’ve got lots of plans in 2021 to make this happen but in the meantime sign up to the Trees for Cities London Youth Panel. You’ll get the chance to share your ideas and feelings about climate change, nature and making cities greener.

    Sign up to panel
  • Top outdoor locations for UK cities

    Google maps has revealed the most popular outdoor locations for a stretch of the legs for residents in the UK's major cities, based on what people search for using the tool from February 1 to October 20 2020. In London the No 1 spot is Richmond Park  and our Epping Forest cam in 5th.  Visitors to Epping Forest have increased by 10 million now up to 14 million.

    More info on Epping Forest
  • Show your love for Epping Forest

    Has Epping Forest helped to get you through the lockdown this year?

    If so take a moment of your time to give something back to this ancient woodland and vote for our special forest in the Green Flag Award People's Choice Awards. Deadline Wednesday 25 November 2020

    Vote here
  • Poorer kids' development hit by lack of outdoor space in lockdown

    Recent research has shown that lack of access to outdoor space during lockdown has caused disadvantaged young children to miss out on activities which play a vital part in child development.  In particular anything requiring outdoor space and access to books.

    Help us to share our activities within your local community. 

    Nature activity ideas
  • More dirt please!

    A small study in Finland has found that children whose outdoor play areas were transformed from gravel yards to min-forests showed improved immune systems within a month.  Scientists believe the improvement is related to the diversity of microbes that the children are exposed to in the natural environment.

    More on outdoor learning
  • Look up!

    David Lindo, President of Friends of Suntrap, broadcaster, author aka The Urban Birder advises us to 'look up'.

    Read a thought-provoking article about breaking down the stereotypes in birdwatching featured in the November 2020 issue of the Waltham Forest Echo

    Read the article on page 4
  • Walk in Epping Forest

    Find our where you can spot the iconic red and white spotted mushrooms (Fly Agrics), what jays and squirrels have in common and why beef steaks aren't just found on the grill!

    Watch our YouTube video on an autumnal walk in Epping Forest with top tips on what to look out for.



    More nature activities
  • Out of the blue came Suntrap!

    Suntrap's aim is to encourage our visitors to develop a strong sense of guardianship for Epping Forest, with an understanding, love and respect for the natural world.

    For some this has developed into a lifelong legacy and for others fond school life memories.  To share these stories we've created a space on our website.

    Read our shared stories
  • Institute for Outdoor Learning, Horizon magazine Autumn 2020

    Horizons is a quarterly publication published by the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

    In Autumn 2020 issue Head of Suntrap, Kerry Rolison shared her learning experiences during lockdown including filmmaking, bug hotels, natural dyes and much more. 

    Photo: Kerry Rolison and David Lindo, President of Friends of Suntrap

    Ideas in Lockdown
  • Youth Climate Summit

    Time is already running out to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, young people are refusing to let it drop off their agenda.

    Youth Climate Summit is a week-long virtual festival (Monday 9 November - Friday 13 November 2020) of days of themed discussions and activities.

    Suntrap is running a session ‘Street trees: a breath of fresh air‘ on Tuesday 10th November at 12.40pm. 

    Find out more about the summit
  • Coming Spring 2021 nature themed family camping weekends!

    Make some great family memories at one of our nature themed overnight stays in our truly unique sustainably heated wooden camping pods.

    Enjoy new experiences and learn together in the beautiful setting of Epping Forest.

    Explore the flora and fauna in the forest and learn new outdoor skills, at our family friendly camp.  

    Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with info on our Forest Explorer Camps. 

    Sign up to our newsletter
  • The Promise

    Launching on Friday 16 October 2020  The Promise is a new BBC film based on the children’s picture book by Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin. If you’re a primary school that wants to get involved register your interest to be gifted books of The Promise and an exclusive film screening toolkit creating a whole morning of nature connection activities and actions. Deadline for nominations is Friday 2 October 2020.

    Register here
  • Black History Month

    October is Black History month, and we take the opportunity to acknowledging our inspirational Friends of Suntrap President, broadcaster and author David Lindo, aka the Urban Birder.

    As David has explained ‘Nature is for everyone and it starts at all our doorsteps. We should all be encouraged to appreciate nature - especially those who live in urban areas. We can all help to engender change that leads to a greater appreciation and understanding of our world. Indeed, it is our responsibility to do so.’

    Birdwatching tips
  • Lights, camera, action!

    To support schools with their outdoor learning skills we're producing films for the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 stages.

    Each film will feature different outdoor activities and information on how to further develop these ideas.

    The films will then be put up on the Waltham Forest education support website page, The Hub and also on the Suntrap Youtube channel.

    Support for schools
  • George Tomlinson Primary School

    No such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothing!

    Recently the Suntrap team ran a free outdoor learning training session for staff at George Tomlinson Primary School in Leytonstone.

    The hardy bunch braced the wet weather and feedback included: 'The children will love doing this' 'You've given us so many ideas we wouldn't have thought of. Thank you.'

    Outdoor learning for schools
  • Sneak peak of classroom

    Here's a sneak peak of the inside one of the classrooms in our main building.

    There's still work to do, but the new windows look very impressive and will keep out the draughts. New lighting, cupboards and workbenches are all being currently installed.

    Our newsletter has all the latest refurbishment news. 

    Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Raising the next generation of Eco-Warriors to change the world.

    Eco-Schools and Frugi clothing company have produced the Frugi Challenge, 10 days of eco-activities – differentiated for early years, primary and secondary schools. The challenges can be completed in school or at home. Also 150 schools applying for the first Eco-Schools Green flag are eligible for their accreditation fee to be paid. Funding applications close on Friday 18 December 2020 and schools must submit a successful first Green Flag application before Friday 26 February 2021. 

    Funding support
  • Sir David Attenborough joins Instagram!

    Did you know we have an instagram account - @suntrapforestcentre?

    Recently we were pleased to welcome long time supporter of Suntrap, Sir David Attenborough to the Instagram community.  We look forward to sharing our nature photographs with him!   

    Our history
  • Outdoor classroom update

    In September 2020 the foundations for our new outdoor classroom have been completed.

    Visitors will be able to use this outdoor covered space when using the back garden, including exploring the creatures they find in our raised pond.

    Our newsletter has all the latest refurbishment news.

    Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Exciting refurbishment news!

    Refurbishment update. The new schools' entrance and corridor at the back of the building is taking shape. The glass fronted foyer will have great views across our new terraced garden and there will be new toilets along the corridor. We think the new roof looks really smart, let us know what you think via our social media! want to keep up to date, then subscribe to our newsletter.

  • Epping Forest Centre reopening

    Epping Forest Visitor Centre in High Beach is reopening on Friday 2nd October.  Opening hours Friday to Sunday 10.00am-4.00pm.

    On display are our beautiful illustrations of Suntrap drawn by artist in residence Emma Bond before the refurbishment closure.

    Order prints
  • Packs full of fun!

    During the summer Suntrap produced nature activity packs for 19 schools in Waltham Forest.  'This looks very exciting. Thank you for the huge effort to make this happen for our children!' Maretha Cilliers Deputy Headteacher Thomas Gamuel Primary School

    Photo: Children from Coppermill Primary School

    Support for schools
  • Glamping camping

    Our new Ken Hoy Lodge in the wild meadow is starting to take shape!

    Installation of toilets and showers - no more toilet tent at night!

    The weather-proof Ken Hoy Lodge with sliding doors will be fit for up to 80 people to eat indoors or al fresco! 

    Camping info
  • Why we're called Suntrap

    We're called "Suntrap" as no matter time of day or year, our south facing building gets a lot of sun. To minimise our carbon footprint we've had installed two huge sets of photovoltaic (solar) panels. This renewable source means we can produce much of our own electricity.

    Keep uo-to-date on refurbishment
  • Sasha wins the race!

    There are many ways to teach children to take care of the natural world, and one simple yet powerful approach is through books.

    We've put together our favourite inspirational children's books that offer meaningful messages about nature and the environment.

    Happy reading!


    Suntrap Book Club
  • Centre accessible for all!

    Remember the Green Hut and animals cages?  These have been removed for much needed landscaping work. 

    Our new terraces will make the whole site accessible for all our visitors plus we get so much more space to use!  

    Outdoor learning
  • Frederick Bremer Community School

    In August 2020 we supported Frederick Bremer community school in Walthamstow with their forest school outdoor learning.

    They're running this during the holidays, exploring habitats and developing team work through den building.

    Find out more
  • Keeping our wet meadow rich in biodiversity

    Drainage in our camping field has been a challenge for our landscape architects. As a preventive measure the kidney shaped excavation gives a natural low point for water to collect during wetter weather.  In a few years we'll have a wet meadow rich in biodiversity and a much drier field!

    Camping info
  • WF Summer Holiday Activity Programme

    Suntrap is part of the Waltham Forest Summer Holiday Activity programme.

    This year we went virtual and ran lots of fun online indoor and outdoor nature activities for children and young people. 

  • Sneak peak at camping pods

    Close up shot of one of the new cedar-clad camping pods. Currently twenty pods each sleeping four people are being built off site.

    Soon to be moved to their new homes in our Wild Wood and Wildflower Meadow. 


    Camping info
  • Butterfly Conservation

    Have you noticed more butterflies in your garden this spring?

    Due to climate change butterflies are emerging earlier and in different parts of the UK.

    You can take part in this citizen science project by Butterfly Conservation and spot butterflies in your garden and record them on an app. Sign up on their website.

    More actvities
  • Chit-Chat Pitter-Pat

    During the summer to support families with children under five we're working in partnership with Chit-Chat Pitter-Pat a home learning project. Each week on Sharing Saturday on their Facebook page we'll be posting a one-minute nature activity video.  


    Watch videos
  • No more drafts!

    Foundation for the camping Meadow Lodge is completed and steels have arrived for the walls. The windows in the main building have been replaced with draft free well fitted double glazed units. Not only will they help to keep the building warm but they look really smart!

    Contact us
  • National Meadows Day

    Saturday 4th July is not only about lockdown restrictions being lifted but also National Meadows Day.  In 2017 Tesco Bags of Help scheme funded Friends of Suntrap a grant to develop our stunning Wildflower Meadow Walk. This haven has provided tranquility, peace and quiet and sense of mental well-being for us all.

    Friends of Suntrap
  • The Great Outdoors

    Waltham Forest Echo July 2020

    Kerry Rolison, Head of Suntrap featured in article about benefits of outdoor learning. ‘Thanks to funding from Waltham Forest council, we’ll be able to support schools across the borough with free training, consultancy and ideas to provide curriculum based outdoor learning in school grounds.’

    Photo credit:@yiodawoo

    Read article
  • Nature Photography Day

    Monday 15 June 11.00am

    To celebrate Nature Photography Day on Monday 15 June at 11.00am join us with Friend of Suntrap wildlife photographer Gary Schwartz for top photography tips and techniques.

    Find out more
  • At Home Safari Film Challenge - Winners revealed!

    Let's take a look at who has won.

    Find out more
  • Free school consultancy and training!

    As part of the borough’s support for schools reopening, Suntrap Forest Centre is offering teaching staff free consultancy and training to move learning into the fresh air.

    This is in line with the Department of Education’s returning-to-school guidance to 'Consider which lessons or classroom activities could take place outdoors’ and 'Schools should also make use of outdoor space in the local area to support the curriculum'.

    Read more
  • Outdoor Learning Day

    Outdoor Classroom Day a global movement to inspire and celebrate outdoor play and learning at home and at school is celebrated on 23 May. 

    Now more than ever we need to promote the many benefits of getting children learning outdoors!

    Outdoor learning
  • World Bee Day

    May 20 is the international day to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.

    Every year on this day, the global public focuses on the importance of preserving honey bees and all other pollinators. 

    We'd bee lost without our hardworking bees!


    Our Bees!
  • Editing made easy

    On Wednesday 20 May 11.00am on the Suntrap YouTube channel we hosted a 30 minute live photography workshop with expert wildlife photographer Gary Schwartz.

    It gave budding documentary makers a chance to ask questions and learn some handy film editing techniques. 

    Deadline for At Home Safari Film Challenge Sunday 31 May 2020.

    Competition info
  • Top tips and tricks for filming documentary

    On Wednesday 6 May 11.00am on the Suntrap YouTube Channel we'll be running a 30 minute live photography workshop with expert wildlife photographer Gary Schwartz.  Chance to ask questions and learn some handy filming techniques.  Deadline for At Home Safari Film Challenge Sunday 31 May 2020.

    At home safari film challenge
  • No Mow May

    Are you taking part in Plantlife's #nomowmay? After a few weeks our gardens are full of a variety of flowers creating lots of nectar for our pollinators. 

    Dave Goulson in his book 'The Garden Jungle' tells us that we can remove weeds from our garden by simply rebranding them as wildflowers. If you're taking part too, we would love to see pictures of the wildflowers now growing in your garden,

    More activities
  • Earth Day 2020

    On Wednesday 22 April we celebrated Earth Day 2020.  The theme of climate action is very close to our hearts.  Education is essential for the global response needed to address climate change. Through education children and young people can understand the impact of global warming, with this knowledge they’re then able to make changes in their attitudes and behaviour.

    Nature activities
  • Virtual Culture Programme

    On April 20th we joined the Waltham Forest Council's Virtual Culture programme, that build on the success of being the Mayor's first London Borough of Culture in 2019. 

    We're excited to launch the At Home Safari Film Challenge deadline for entries Sunday 31 May 2020.

    Read more
  • Suntrap at home

    During the COVID-19 lockdown Suntrap is here to help. On our Suntrap at Home page you'll find a whole range of fun, educational projects you can do with your children safely indoors and outdoors at home. All with a focus on nature and the environment. 

    New activities will be added regularly so keep visiting this page for ideas of how to Bring Nature Nearer.

    Read more
  • Suntrap Book Club

    Visit our Book club page to find our recommendations for books to inspire children and young people to a love of nature. During the COVID-19 lockdown take advantage of Amazon. They've cancelled the subscription of books and audio stories for children and students of all ages as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection for free! 

    Read more!
  • Out and about in schools

    In March we're out and about round the forest; being 'Plant Explorers' with Greenleaf Primary School and 'Discovering Habitats' with George Mitchell and Edinburgh Primary Schools.

    We're sharing our knowledge of 'Treemedous trees' with George Tomlinson Primary School and at Chapel End Infant School we're going deep into the 'Wild Wood'.


    Events and activities
  • Love Your Pet Day

    Thursday 20 February

    Love Your Pet Day is a great day to show your love for your pets. We provide opportunities for children to get up close to animals to learn more about looking after them and the importance to respect them. If you don't have any yourself, get involved by calling your local RSPCA or pet rescue centre and make a donation of food or treats or volunteer. 

    Meet our animals
  • Reconnecting with nature supports the world

    Environmental research February 2020

    At Suntrap we’ve always known that being outdoors can be good for your mental health, but that’s only one reason to visit our local green spaces. A study published in 'Environment International' shows that people who have access to nature or urban green spaces are much more likely to behave in environmentally friendly ways. The findings also identified that people who were not exposed to green spaces were less likely to adopt eco-friendly behaviours, such as recycling.

    Read more
  • Suntrap on tour

    February 2020

    In February through Great Place: Connecting Communities the team continues to deliver free programmes with local schools including Roger Ascham primary school in Walthamstow and Yardley primary school in Chingford.

    Bookings available for a range of outdoor learning experiences in school grounds or in local green spaces

    School offer
  • Stargazing in RHS Hyde Hall

     In January we attended an Essex Learning Outside the Classroom Providers group meeting at RHS Hyde Hall. On a beautifully clear, but cold evening, we explored the night sky using binoculars and telescope, learning to identify star constellations and naming some of the craters on the moon. The evening gave us lots of stargazing ideas for our residentials under the dark skies in winter. Warm clothes and binoculars are all you need!

  • School visits in January

    At a school near you!

    The Suntrap team including some of our animals are visiting primary schools including Yardley and C of E in Chingford and Edinburgh in Walthamstow. We're also looking forward to working with students from Waltham Forest College. Bookings available for a range of outdoor learning experiences in school grounds or in local green spaces

    Contact us
  • RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

    Saturday 25 - Monday 27 January

    In January the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is happening.  Join in and contribute to an impressive amount of comparative data., the findings provide an important insight into how our wildlife is faring. Click to read top birdwatching tips from our patron, David Lindo, 'The Urban Birder'.

    Birdwatching tips
  • Plugging the gap!

    We’re making good use of some of our fallen logs that by inserting ‘mushroom plugs’. These are small wooden dowels that have been inoculated with mycelium of edible fungi. To harvest will typically take  12 months so we’re looking forward to watching mushrooms emerge when we're reopened.

    Read more
  • Why the outdoors is great

    November 2019
    Waltham Forest Echo

    Helen Bigham urges children and young people get out and about for Outdoor Classroom Day on Thursday 7 November 2019.

    Read more
  • Support the environment!

    November 2019

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is collating data on Outdoor Education visits to natural environment sites for their work on Natural Capital.  Recording this information is important for environmental decision making. 

    Read more on how you can help.
  • Prints available!

    Our commissioned illustrations produced by Emma Smith have been so popular we've joined with All Colours Only a specialist art print company to enable fans of Suntrap to buy prints in a variety of sizes.

    Order here