One of Bristol’s first outdoor nurseries will be opening a new site in Westbury-on-Trym due to overwhelming demand from local families.
Little Foxes was founded in 2018 by two Bristol-based teachers with the aim of immersing children in nature, using the forest as a classroom instead of the traditional indoor teaching setting. Children are taught outside through every season and in rain or shine, using tents and trees for shelter when needed, and learn den-building, foraging, outdoor cooking and woodwork alongside the national curriculum.
Since opening the original site in Stoke Park in 2018, the business has gone from strength to strength, with the Forest School oversubscribed and a waiting list of over a year. This has given the Co-Founders the confidence to invest in a second site which is now open for registrations and will be operational from 8th January 2024.
Janie Ankers, Co-Founder, explains, “We have been incredibly proud of the business we have been able to build and the difference the Little Foxes team has made to so many children. The fact that we have been oversubscribed for several years, combined with the feedback from families and number of enquiries, has given us the confidence to open a second site in Westbury.
“This will be the start of an exciting new chapter for us and we are so excited to be able to welcome so many more cubs into the Little Foxes family!”
Lizzie Staite, Co-Founder, said, “We know how beneficial it is for children to play and learn in beautiful forests, woods and green spaces. An outdoor settings encourages children to become creative and resilient learners as well as explorers, foragers, chefs and climbers!
“We have been able to build a great team, most of whom are qualified teachers like Janie and myself. They all share our passion and belief in the power of nature to build children’s self esteem, independence, social skills and boost their physical and mental wellbeing. Children who learn outside are happier, healthier and more motivated to learn and we have been seeing great results in our first five years.”
The second Little Foxes Forest School will be located within the Westbury Wildlife Park Foundation, just a 10 minute drive from Bristol’s City Centre. It will be able to accept 20 children per day, aged 3 – 4, and offer a breakfast club that starts at 8am.
Hannah Summers, who has been with the Little Foxes team since 2018 and will be managing the Westbury site said, “I am really proud to be part of this amazing team and feel honoured to be heading up the new Little Foxes Forest School in Westbury.
“We have an exciting opportunity to work with a fantastic wildlife charity who want to encourage the younger generation to understand and appreciate wildlife and conversation. With their support, we have created our own site within the wildlife park and it will be the most incredible and unique early years education setting.
“We are looking forward to being able to reach more families in Bristol and help children to use the outdoors to explore, discover, challenge themselves and grow as individuals.”