Little Saplings will hopefully restart in the spring 2021.

There have been no outdoor toddler sessions since the beginning of March 2020, and even though we looked into restarting a few times, we have decided to postpone restarting until next year. This is due to multiple factors including the current restrictions, health & safety and the fact that Little Saplings occurs on public land.

Please keep an eye on our social media and website for updates. We will promote and advertise in 2021, when the time is right.

We are very sorry about this and really miss the sessions. Alison says "I hope to be back making mud pies, digging for worms and reading stories by the fire with you all soon. I have really missed working with little ones and exploring our wonderful wildlife with you all. I hope we can meet up next year to recapture the nature magic and watch our little ones grow through woodland play."

There are some useful family activities you can get involved in at home here:


Little Saplings – FREE Outdoor toddler sessions for under 5 year olds. Woodland play to let your little one grow.

Our Ernest Cook Trust Outdoor Learning Officer delivers Forest School ethos outdoor sessions for little ones. They occur at different wild spaces within the Pendle Hill landscape within the week and occasionally at weekends. The sessions hope to inspire families to get outside and reconnect with nature, plus learn different activities that they can recreate with their family in the future. Each session has a different theme, so you will always learn something new.Little Saplings 2020

Sessions are:

- 2nd and 4th Wednesday of most months at Spring Wood, Whalley (am) and Victoria Park, Nelson (pm)

1st Thursday of most months (April- October, excluding August) - at Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham (am) and Barley Wildlife Discovery Site, Barley (pm)

Little Saplings 2020 dates and booking information can be found on our Eventbrite profile. Booking is essential from January 2020 via:

The FREE activities will be aimed to suit 18 months to 5 year olds, but all under 5's are welcome to attend and get a lot out of the sessions. The sessions are 1.5 hours of outdoor free play, which are child led. Parents are encouraged to allow the children to discover their environment independently. There will be a small fire lit at some sessions, with something being cooked on the fire (marshmallows, popcorn etc.).

Know before you go


Suitable for people with limited mobility, level paths and easy access. Please contact organiser if you have any questions.

Little Saplings Poster

Wheelchair and pram access

Suitable for wheelchair users and prams. Please contact organiser if you have any questions.

What to bring

Children must be accompanied by a parent/carer at all times. Parents and carers need to bring children (and themselves) suitably dressed for the outdoors, mud and weather. (Not all children get muddy at the sessions, but all have fun). Get in touch if you need to borrow any kit. Please remember to bring own snacks and drinks necessary for the child(ren).

Parking and toilets information

Parking is on site (local parking charges apply), see booking confirmation email about location. There are also toilets available at the car parks.

Booking process

Booking essential for 2020 dates. Please book a place for your 18 months to 5 year old aged children, as the event is aimed at this age range. Any younger siblings are welcome to attend, but do not need a ticket. If you can no longer attend the event, please log back in to cancel your order. This will allow other children to take your place, as the events have a maximum capacity (this is to maintain the ecology of the site and quality of the event). Booking via:

Find out the upcoming dates for Little Saplings and Free Family Nature Events here. 

For further information, or if you have any questions please email:


Privacy Notice

For Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership Privacy Notice, please see: