Kirsty set up Muddy Boots Forest Adventures back in 2016, to offer families across Essex a woodland experience where children could follow their own interests, take controlled risks, learn, and experience all the seasons. Due to the growth in popularity, Kirsty wanted to develop her sessions and offer something for new parents, and Babes in the Wood was the answer.

Kirsty successfully received a Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) micro-grant fund and Babes in the Wood sessions began last month in Highwoods Country Park, Colchester. These sessions are specifically targeted at new parents and aim to reduce social isolation, to get people outdoors and take a therapeutic walk through the forest and feel the benefits of being surrounded by nature. The groups are relaxed and informal, with a chance for mum/ dad and baby to see the Forest School site, explore the Montessori treasure baskets, whilst enjoying a beverage and a chat with other like-minded families.

New parents have responded positively, and the sessions continue to attract more families. Attendees have said that the sessions are “really enjoyable, the treasure baskets were great, and everyone was very friendly.”

Furthermore, Muddy Adventures with Dad have also recently started. These LDP-funded child-led sessions include mud kitchens, den building, bug hunting, campfire snacks, nature crafts and bird watching, and provide opportunities for Dad’s to meet with other local fathers or grandfathers.

Sarah Stokes, Local Delivery Pilot Coordinator for Colchester said “Kirsty at Muddy Boots is doing a fantastic job at providing families with nature rich experiences, which also gives people the understanding of how being active in nature can benefit the whole family’s mental health and wellbeing. Babes in the Wood provides young children and families with the space to be more physically active and push themselves into trying new activities and experiences. The LDP micro-grant has enabled Kirsty to run a limited number of free trials for 6 months, and Babes in the Wood and Muddy Adventures with Dad aim to reach many residents in the St Johns area of Colchester. This will support them to become more acquainted with their local green spaces, forge new friendships and become more active.”

If you would like to find out more or join a Muddy Boots session, please click here.