**NOTE: all the necessary measures and guidance will be put in place as advised by the Forest School Association regarding Covid-19.  All our training courses are taking place outside in the woodland  under the shelter of the canopy.

If the situation changes and this training needs to be postponed, you will be offered a place on training later in the year or carry over to 2022 **

Course dates:

Monday 17th - Thursday 20th May 2021
Monday 27th - Wednesday 29th September
Monday 22nd - Wednesday 24th November

16 hr Outdoor First Aid certificate:
Monday 11th & Tuesday 12th October 2021

Mell Harrison our Forest School Manager and tutor is a Forest School Association Endorsed trainer.

Who is it for?

The Level 3 qualification is designed for practitioners who have experience working with children/young people or adult groups and who wish to plan, coordinate and deliver forest school programmes. People come from a range of backgrounds into forest school; environmental, scouting, teaching, rangers, early year’s practitioners, ecologists, child minders, artists etc.

The coursework will take at least 12 -18 months to complete.

The Level 3 qualification is equivalent to an A-Level and you should be prepared for a very full and intense experience.

Approximately one-third of the course consists of contact time with other students and the Tutors - around 96 hours of Guided learning. The remaining hours are for students to undertake self-directed and independent study - approximately 84 hours of home study.

Entry requirements:

  • to be at least 19 (NB you are required to be 21 in order to practice but as the course takes 12-18 months to complete you can start training at 19)
  • to have at least 2 years’ experience working with groups in a leadership capacity and /or a recognised qualification to level 2 at least in teaching, childcare, play work, youth work or support work

Before you run your programme you will need:

  • Access to site with permission to run Forest School 
  • Outdoor First Aid training
  • Safeguarding checks: DBS
  • Access to a group of children, young people or adults to work with

Breakdown of training programme:

Open College Network West Midlands Level 3 Certificate carries 18 credits at Level 3 delivered over 12 months. Level 3 is equivalent to an A level, 18 credits is 180 hours of learning time. Approximately 96 hours are guided learning hours and the rest is self-directed learning.

The course content covers 5 Units:

Unit 1: Learning and development at a Forest School programme - Essays will be required on child development, learning and behaviour as well as forest school ethos

Unit 2: Practical skills for a forest school programme -A whole range of practical sessions on fire, tools, rope and woodland ecology

Unit 3: Forest School programmes and the woodland environment - Includes producing a 3 year management plan and an Environmental impact assessment plan

Unit 4: Planning and preparation for a Forest School programme - Create a Forest School handbook

Once all of the above elements are completed you will be plan a Forest School programme and run 6 sessions which will have to be documented in detail.  A member of Green Light Trust's Tutor team will attend one of these 6 sessions to assess your practice and delivery.

Unit 5: Forest School delivery case study - Final piece of work

On successful completion of the coursework, students should receive certification and be qualified as a Forest School Practitioner within 12-18 months of starting the course. All our courses are accredited by the Open College Network West Midlands and Green Light Trust is an OCNWM Recognised Centre.

Your hand in dates for each workbook will be staggered across the year.

Course delivery process:

10 tutor-led days: 1 x 4 days, 2 x 3 days plus First Aid weekend

Your training journey at GLT:

From the moment our students arrive we are modelling Forest School ethos and possibly one of the most important elements of Forest school; How to hold a space, create a sense of belonging and community, make people feel safe, welcomed and comfortable.

Over your training you will be spending some time indoors and lots of time outdoors. There will be a balance of both. We will be having small group and whole group discussion on topics such as play, holistic development, learning theories etc. Outside we will be building dens, playing game, learning lots of practical skills, cooking, swinging etc. You will experience what Forest School looks like, what it feels like and be held in a space where everyone is offered unconditional positive regard. Each person will be celebrated for their uniqueness in an atmosphere of community kindness and respect.

Assessment methods: You will either gain a pass or have additional work to complete before we pass you.

You will be assessed during your training on your practical skills, such as tool use and fire lighting.

Student support:

  • Contact with tutors: Contact can be made at any point by email via Lindsay in the office [email protected]
  • FAQ’s page on the website
  • Student only login pages on the website for access to coursework, handouts, links etc.

Venue: Wheatfen Forest School, Wheatfen Broad, the Covey, Surlingham, Norwich, NR14 7AL

Wheatfen Broad in Surlingham is both the inspiration and main location for Wheatfen Forest School.

For forty years Ted Ellis, the well-known writer and broadcaster, lived here and devoted his lifetime to natural history. He was one of the great characters of East Anglia and had the ability to communicate his enthusiasm to everyone.

Wheatfen Forest School was established by his granddaughter, Rose Hoare, in 2015. Rose hopes to carry on the family legacy by inspiring a new generation of naturalists and conservationists through Forest School. Wheatfen Broad is also home to the Wheatfen Nature Reserve, which was founded in Ted Ellis’s memory. This strange, primitive area is recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is one of the last tidal marshes of the Yare Valley. The Trust aims to preserve its rich and fragile ecology, and to keep this land and its wildlife accessible for the enjoyment and education of all.

Wheatfen FS are delighted to host Green Light Trust Forest School training because more children will get to experience the joy and the benefits of Forest School as a result!


By bus:

The number 85 Bus service runs regularly between Norwich and Loddon via Surlingham from Monday to Saturday. Request to disembark at the corner of The Street & The Green. Walk down The Covey until it becomes a dirt track, then keep going until you reach the Ted Ellis Trust Nature Reserve entrance.

By bike:
National Cycle Route 1 passes through Surlingham on the stretch from Norwich to Loddon. Bicycles can be parked and locked behind the warden’s hut.

By car:
Set your satnav to NR14 7AL. When you turn onto The Covey, keep going when the road becomes a dirt track. There is a car park at the entrance to the reserve a couple of hundred yards down on the left.

How to prepare:

Acquire an understanding of the Forest School ethos. You could visit an existing Forest School setting in your locality and/or check out the Forest School Association website:


 Appropriate clothing and footwear

 Check out our recommended pre-course reading list which you will receive with your joining pack

Application process:

Book Online

We will then contact you to confirm your booking and send information pack and course details.


Level 3 Leader course - 10 tutor-led days, plus one day tutor observation and mentoring on your site.

Each day runs from 9.00 am - 5.00 pm.

£1150.00 per person plus 16 Hr Outdoor First Aid (if you don't already have this) £150.00

Total cost £1300.00


Full Price including First Aid - £1300.00

Full Price  WITHOUT First Aid - £1150.00

or a DEPOSIT ticket of £100 (with or without First Aid), and we will invoice you separately for the balance depending on whether or not you require the First Aid certificate

Please ensure you click the green "CONFIRM" button at the end of the BOOKING FORM and the green "COMPLETE PURCHASE" on the following 'BASKET' page in order to COMPLETE YOUR BOOKING

If your booking has been successful and you have ticked that you are happy to receive email communications, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email please ring the office on 01284 830829 to check the status of your booking.


Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price

FS L3 Wheatfen May2021

Decrease Increase £1,300.00

FS L3 Wheatfen May21 DEPOSIT

Decrease Increase £100.00

FS L3 Wheatfen May21 NO FIRST AID

Decrease Increase £1,150.00