School is enjoying big bonus

Abbeyfield Forest School'Ross Pearson tells woodland tales to the pupils.
Abbeyfield Forest School'Ross Pearson tells woodland tales to the pupils.

An educational outdoor area for children in Morpeth has a new big attraction thanks to a great fund-raising response following an act of vandalism.

The bird hide at Abbeyfields Forest School, situated within the grounds of the first school in Kirkhill, was smashed up with a hefty log at Easter.

Fund-raising from parents and the Friends of Abbeyfields School and donations from the wider community meant staff were able to replace it with a bigger hide and the total was so big that they also purchased a 24ft teepee.

It features a central fire to cook tasty treats and keep the children warm and it is big enough to accommodate a class of 30. In addition, pupils from other schools are using the teepee.

Abbeyfields Forest School leader Ross Pearson said: “It has added a new dimension to the children’s learning and it has sparked their imagination. It also allows us to carry out sessions in strong winds.

“There was such a buzz in school about the teepee and pupils and staff weren’t disappointed when it arrived.

“The previous bird hide was really quaint, but the new custom-made hide is bigger, we can do more with it and it is more secure – for example the windows have shutters.

“We’ve very grateful to all those who chipped in with the fund-raising and we were amazed by the response from the wider community. This has shown the pupils that something great can come out of a bad situation.”