Barker's Wood For us toys are resources for play, for imagination, creativity, life enhancement and joy. That's why, to the surprise of some, we have leased an area of woodland near our base from the local authority. It is a semi-natural, ancient woodland about 10 acres in size, somewhat neglected .....beautiful, magical, mysterious with endless potential for inspiration, fantasy, enchantment and playful enjoyment. We are re-establishing an ancient relationship with woods, with fun, folklore, fairy-tales, myth and magic. Restoring a sense of excitement in a place where you can hide within earshot of others, get lost and then find a way back, play games, pretend, climb, fall, run, rest, trip, yell, shelter, find tracks and traces of creatures and smell the earth. We put on activities and organise opportunities to attract people into the woods and once there to experience the well-documented beneficial effects of being outdoors and learn to value and protect the natural environment. Everyone should be able to access the natural world which is why we manage a community woodland and provide activities and resources to help people do just that. We hold weekly sessions throughout the year. Our Tuesday Twigglets sessions 12.30pm - 2.30pm are designed especially for children under 4 years old. They are very popular, but there's always room for more. Outdoor fun includes pond dipping, den building and campfire cooking all under the supervision of Jane, our forest schools specialist and her team. Twigglets is generously funded by a Small Steps Big Changes Ideas Fund grant and as such is free to all. From Friday 17 August we will be introducing our new Twigglets- Branching Out session in Barker's Wood for children up to 10 years old. Running from 9.30am - 11am on Fridays 17 and 31 August, the focus will be on adventurous play where children are encouraged to be actively involved in woodland crafts, campfire cooking and exploring the natural world through play. This is a paid session at £7 /child and is an opportunity for everyone to get hands on and make a real contribution to the upkeep of Barker's Wood. You can pay on the day or book online in advance on our What's On page to ensure you have a place. We're often asked "what should my child wear for the woods?" As its the natural world, there's mud and wildlife all around so please wear clothes and appropriate shoes you don't mind getting really dirty! At this time of year there's a few insects around so a long sleeved top and long trousers (not leggings) aren't a bad idea. Toy Library staff are happy to advise - just ask at the session.