Access to Nature: A brilliant final day

We’d like to share the great work going on in the Outdoor Education Department with you. Access to Nature is a fantastic programme for helping participants onto the next stage of education/training/employment. We’re grateful for the opportunity given to us by our funders – the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, and The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency, and the Forestry Commission.

This is the last of six blogs recounting their adventures: 

All too soon, the final week of Access to Nature came around, and this time the focus was mountain biking – an activity many had been looking forward to since it had first been mentioned earlier in the programme. The group left the minibus and stepped into the immersive natural surroundings of Sherwood Pines. Asking the group to compare where they lived to where they currently stood, many commented on the fresh smell, the lack of litter, and the abundance of tall, stately trees. Throughout the day’s ride, they stopped at various checkpoints to identify fungi and trees, drawing from the knowledge they’d gained in previous weeks.

The group surprised themselves, calling out answers to correctly identify the features of tree species, and recalling that merely brushing against a puffball results in the release of clouds of spores.

After a wintery cycle, the group clambered aboard the heated minibus, a haven from the rain and wind, and reminisced about the weeks gone, passionately discussing which sessions were the best. During their final debrief, members filled out their development logs and discussed what they had learned and developed during the Access to Nature programme. The overall feeling was of great satisfaction, encouragement, and gratitude.

If you feel this programme would benefit the young people in your school or group, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing gavin.barker@ymcarhg.org