With its diverse flora and fauna and rich heritage, Chopwell Wood is a fantastic educational resource. Our Forest Classroom, with nearby nature trail and pond, provides the perfect base for woodland learning. We also have an orienteering course, walking trails, fascinating sculptures and woodland features.
There is a Tree Trail which runs parallel to the public access road opposite the main car park. Trees are identified with a nearby sign, walk along the trail and see how many you can find.
BOOKING THE FOREST CLASSROOM
For self-led visits, schools and groups can book the Forest Classroom via the Forestry England at Hamsterley – contact
For safety and insurance purposes it’s important that schools and groups visiting Chopwell Wood inform Forestry England in advance. It is also recommended that group leaders make an initial visit to carry out a Risk Assessment.
Educational visits with a leader provided, have in the past been provided by Groundwork North East who delivered a range of educational and access opportunities in Chopwell Wood for both primary and secondary schools. This was done under a ten year partnership agreement which has now ended. The educational services contract is now up for tender via Forestry England.
We hope the successful applicant will continue to welcome enquiries from schools on any topic and tailor sessions to specific requirements. Typical sessions could include: sensory activities (focussing on sound, texture and colours); minibeast hunts; introduction to trees and seasons; mapping activities; woodland art; themed walks.
Also more specific sessions:
History and heritage of Chopwell Wood
A half day session which examines Chopwell Wood’s role throughout centuries of development in Gateshead. Activities include learning about folklore linked to trees and mining in the area.
Climate Change awareness – what do trees do for us?
A half day session for Year 4 and above which looks at how trees and woodlands help mitigate against the effects of climate change. Children will learn about the Greenhouse effect, photosynthesis, carbon storage and the role of trees whilst exploring the woodland.
Suitable for Key Stage One, this half day session introduces children to characters such as the Sleeping Giant, Rosie and the Witch and Jack in the Woods all created by professional storytellers specifically for Chopwell Wood. Children will hear our Chopwell Tales and take part in activities linked to the characters.
The Lumber Jills
Suitable for Year 4 and above, this full day workshop helps children experience a day in the life of a Lumber Jill. Lumber Jills were women who worked in forestry in World War Two as part of the Womens Timber Corps. Children will take part in an early morning exercise drill, learn how to measure timber and hear accounts of North East Lumber Jills’ experiences before writing a letter home.
Winter Warmer session
A half day session delivered in the winter months and suitable for all ages. Children will learn about the importance of trees and how they have been viewed by different cultures. Children will learn about the Green Man, creating their own versions and will also take part in a tree dressing activity, which is often done in the winter months to celebrate trees.
John Muir Award
Over three to four days staff can help groups of young people to achieve their John Muir Discover Award. Activities can be tailored to the group but involve activities to explore, discover, conserve and share. This will include walks to explore the woodland, take part in conservation activities there and work with the young people to raise awareness of the woodland and what they have learnt. More information on the John Muir award can be found at: