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Outdoor Play

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Disabled Children & Young People

kent Wildlife Trust logoThe Organisation:

Kent Wildlife Trust deliver weekly forest school sessions and Wilder Holiday Clubs at Tyland Barn Nature Reserve, Maidstone. Activities include den building, outdoor cooking, gardening, mud kitchen activities and outdoor games that explore wildlife through play. A safe environment is created for children to exercise outdoors, allowing them to develop social skills, foster creativity and imagination whilst being active.

Young person doing pond dippingThe Project:

The trust wanted to make their offer more inclusive for young people so funding was used to purchase wheelchair accessible potting trays so young people can engage in gardening activities and a sensory water run which provides a calming and interactive activity for SEN children with ADHD, ASD and other neurodivergences.


  • Increased inclusive offering
  • Better understanding of the needs of disabled young people
  • Deeper connection with nature
  • Engagement with other activities the trust offers

Every child should have the same opportunities to engage in outdoor play, learning and exercise. As one of Kent’s leading forest school providers, it is essential that we lead the way in making outdoor play as accessible as possible, so that children can enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature regardless of their abilities.

 Kent Wildlife Trust

Key Learnings: 

Listen and understand your participants needs.The Trusts greatest challenge was promoting the equipment to service users. Previous negative experiences of inaccessible opportunities with other providers meant that trust needed to be built back up. Participants needs and concerns were listened to and acted upon to create a welcoming environment for all.

It takes time. Be honest and open with your participants, a truly inclusive forest school environment won’t happen overnight. Consult with the community to find out what you can do better, what works and what doesn’t.

“We will seek the opinions of the people using our services, as they are best placed to decide what they want.”

Kent Wildlife Trust

Next Steps:

Kent Wildlife Trust are looking at ways they can continue to make their offer inclusive for all, this funding has allowed them to demonstrate the impact projects can have on the local community which will help shape future work.

Find out more about Kent Wildlife Trust