by Pete Moore, Director Forest & Beach, October 2017
I was in a lovely school the other day delivering Forest School to a class of 8 year old children. They were very excited to be getting changed, boots on, warm jumpers on a stunning autumn day. Whilst the children and class teacher were busily preparing for adventures outside I cast my eye to the edge of the playground where there were some heavily laden apple trees. Spying these and feeling a bit hungry myself I asked the children about the apples. ‘Cooking apples’ they chorused and not good for eating. One particular tree had a fantastic red appearance from the apples and I thought I would give one a try. Choosing from the tree I picked the reddest apple, turning it once and twice before the stalk broke, it was delicious and very welcome as lunchtime was a long way off.
I returned to class, apple in hand, whilst the children were finishing off getting ready and one boy looked at me and said smiling ‘You’re wild!’. Now this stuck with me and seemed to tweak at thoughts about how children are becoming that bit more removed from nature. It was just an interesting observation that eating something straight from the source was seen as something unusual and ‘wild’. Now this particular school are doing great things and valuing experiences for the children outdoors. And those laden apple trees? Well a press is booked in and an apple pressing day organised for all the children, something the children will remember all their lives. I will make sure I don’t do any more scrumping there for a while though.