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Learning at Fineshade Wood

Fineshade Wood offers a fantastic learning opportunity for people of all ages and abilities, combining hands-on education with ideas for active minds.

We can offer a wonderful setting for groups to carry out learning programmes, as well as activities for the life long learner.

With the Grounds cafe, bike hire and a variety of trails for all abilities, this wood provides a wonderful setting for groups to carry out a range of learning programmes.

Westonbirt education centre family activity trail

 Tindersticks CIC

Tindersticks CIC has been awarded the three year Learning Partner Agreement with the Forestry Commission and we will be delivering a range of outdoor events and activities through both formal education with schools and public events for the local community.

Between us we have over 20 years experience as countryside professionals, Alison as a Ranger and Gavin as a Conservation Arborist. We created and have been delivering the Bushcraft Programme at Epping Forest (on the North East corner of London) for the past three years and our love of Bushcraft has brought us together to form Tindersticks allowing us to follow our dream of working solely on our passion.

We have always worked closely with the local community and local volunteers, learning from them and helping them to  develop. If you would like to be involved in children and adult Bushcraft events, KS1 and KS2 school group sessions please get in touch, or if you would like further information on what we are about. We would love you to share your knowledge and passion for Fineshade Wood, so even if you don't want to be involved in our activities please pop down next time we are on site and say hi - the kettle is always boiling!

Hope to see you around the campfire soon.

Alison Tapply + Gavin Bodenham


Discover your forest is for children taking part in the Children’s University scheme, and it can be done in any Forestry Commission woodland in England. 

 The Forestry Commission has teamed up with Children's University to offer this exciting and engaging activity for children to complete, so that they can learn about the forest and how it is managed, at the same time as working towards their Children's University award.

The Children’s University (CU) is an international charity that provides 7 to 14 year olds (and 5 and 6 year olds with their families and carers) with exciting, high quality learning experiences outside the normal school day. The aim of CU is to raise aspirations and develop a love of learning by issuing children with a “Passport to Learning”

How do I take part?

  1. Download the Discover your forest activity sheet from Discover your forest 
  2. Come to the forest with a pencil and a small bag.  A clipboard may be useful if you have one.
  3. During the visit to the forest, discuss the questions and activities on the sheet.
    Write answers down as you go, or complete the sheet later on. If you complete the whole activity sheet, you will qualify for two hours of learning in your passport.
  4. When you have finished, scan pages 1 and 5, or take a photo of them, and email them to with your name and age, and the name of the forest you visited, so that we can send you a stamp for your CU passport.

Learning more about the forest

Here are some follow-up activities, which qualify for extra hours of learning.  If you do one of these, you can email your work to the Forestry Commission and it will be validated by a stamp which can be stuck into your CU passport.

• Take photographs of your seeds before and after germination and write an account of what you did to make it happen.

• Make a poster to show how sustainably managed forests are good for timber, wildlife and people.

• Draw and label some of the things you collected in the forest. Tell us what you learnt about them.

You can e-mail your work to A passport stamp will be emailed to you.

Planning your visit

Careful planning is vital to the success of your visit and we recommend that group leaders make a pre-visit to ensure they know where to park, where they are going and what the facilities are.

For further information, current charges or to book your visit please contact Tindersticks CIC at






Last updated: 19th July 2018

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.