No bad weather just bad clothes?

Well apart from extreme weather such as dangerous wind of course.

We list our top tips on how to get the most from a fairy forest school event or outdoor party over Winter.

So you've got the invite to an outdoor forest party or you've just booked on to an event over winter such as our elf adventure. Hang on you tell yourself - isn't it going to be cold? What if its raining? 

Here's what you need to do to make the most of our events. You're here to have fun not get cold!

Know your site

When you book on or get an invite you'll know which wood you're going to be at. We operate in a range of woods some with hard wearing paths and others with pits of mud and even a stream.

In the stream at Lumb Brook

Lumb Brook Valley aka the Dingle has some deep mud (i.e. welly sucking) and a stream. There are dry routes but to get involved you're likely to be in the stream and mud. The loo is also only accessible by crossing a stream.

Gorse Covert Mounds has good paths. After rain there's the odd puddle and near base camp there's a bit of a muddy patch which boots can easily cope with.

New Moss Wood has turf paths and some patches of mud that can lose a small welly. After rain it can get muddier here and there.

Snidley Moor has puddles and mud where we park on the farmers track but for the most part is pretty well drained and mud free. There's the odd patch though that boots can easily cope with.

You can find out more about our sites here or visit them yourself to check them out as they're open to the public.

Check you've got the right kit and is it OK?

Wellies that don't fit or have perished or split. Waterproof coats with broken zips. Jackets or trousers that don't fit anymore. Clothes don't need to be expensive but they need to do the job. Don't leave it til the morning of the party or event.


Get dressed in layers. Your base layer is something tight and stretchy like thermals that you're unlikely to need to take off. Then add more layers and leave something thick until last. Over the top its waterproofs - these keep out a cold wind and rain (or stream splashes). If you get too hot - take a layer off, if you get too cold put a layer on.

Get a hat

Bring a hat!

If you want to get ahead - get a hat (and maybe a scarf too). Lots of body heat is lost through the head and neck. So if your hands and feet are cold, put your hat on.

Hands and feet

Gloves are a pain. They are hard to get on children with their tiny fingers. They can get wet (and are then useless). Some activities such as fairy house making are too fiddly for gloves. We advise mittens where fingers warm each other and if you do need to do something fiddly take them off then put them back on when you've finished. Of course on a really cold day you could do inner gloves and then mittens which are great for our hunts and less dexterous tasks.

Rubber wellies don't keep your feet that warm especially if you're wading in a stream or mud. Go for larger size wellies and pack them with layers of socks (or fleece welly liners if you have them).

TIP: Have emergency pairs of socks in your pockets in case of a wet welly or use them as an emergency mitten.

Bring more than you need

Put a back of extra clothes in the boot of the car for you and your family. This is handy over winter anyway in case you break down and why not put a blanket in there too. Chances are you won't need it but you'll be thankful if its there. You can dip into it if needed or do a complete change for the journey home.

Have breakfast, bring snacks.

A good breakfast being digested produces body heat and sets you up for the day. We have food at nearly all our events but bring snacks to top up tummies or have just in case.

Hot drinks

Grab it whilst its hot!

We have hot water in flasks prepared for the start of every event. Help yourself to tea, instant, coffee or hot cordial. We've cold water too so you can get it to the temperature you like.

When our wood burning stove is up and running we serve hot chocolate and freshly percolated coffee too. This is usually at food time so about an hour in to the session.

Bring your own thermos as well if you like (even if you leave it in the car).

Pour it and nurse it if your hands are cold. A hot drink in a plastic cup is a nice hand warmer that you can sip.

Hot food

We prepare food on the fire and when its done its done. Don't hold back or start another activity - grab it whilst its hot.

TIP: We often cook extra food just in case so we often have left over sausages. If you're an adult you're welcome to make a play for any left overs before we start cooking the parents' food.

Get involved and keep active

We want parents to get involved and have as much as the kids. Moving about and having fun keeps you warmer than standing still and holding back.

Avoid the mud

We love wading through mud on our adventures and so do the kids and parents. But if you're cold and not dressed as well as you could be then maybe you should give it a miss or do it towards the end of the session. There's nothing that says you have to go in the mud. The same goes for the stream at Lumb Brook - although the loo involves a small stream crossing.

There is a dry path when we go exploring although we encourage you to do the wilder stuff but its down to you to decide how you manage risk - that's what forest school is all about.

Avoid the rain, hail, sleet, snow

Wear the right clothes and you're ready for all weathers. But if you've misjudged it then maybe now's the time to get under one of our overhead tarps and have a brew until the shower passes.

Play with the emergency kit

Bivvy bags are fun and warm

On cold days we dust off our emergency kits and encourage people to use them. This includes plastic bivvy bags and a group mushroom shelter. It doesn't have to be an emergency to give them a go. They're great fun. Try them - you might want to get one for when you're out and about somewhere else like up a hill or on a day walk.

Bring a hot water bottle

Make sure it has a cover! The soft toy ones are quite good and you'll be really popular if you start handing this around on a cold day. When it starts to cool we can replenish it with hot water from our wood burner.

Get warm come back

OK so you've lost a welly to the mud and your little ones cold. There's no shame in nipping back to the car to get changed and get warm. Get comfy then come back replensihed for more fun.