The BIG news we’ve been sitting on for the past few months can finally be announced! Woodland Classroom are moving, to a new venue. It’s a home which is somewhere quite unlike anywhere else.
Just north of Wrexham lies an ambitious project like no other, Park In The Past. It’s a place where not only can you explore woodlands or try your hand at water-sports, but you could also stumble across a full-size Roman fortress! As we said, this place is special.
Set in the ancient Welsh landscape, the park comprises 120 acres of outstanding natural beauty offering woodlands, wetlands, meadows, footpaths a magnificent 35-acre lake and the gorgeous River Alyn winding through it. To find out more about the venue, visit their website here.
The aim of Park In The Past is to create a totally unique visitor attraction. There is the country park itself which local people are encouraged to explore and enjoy the nature trails. Then there is the historic aspect where the project seeks to recreate an ancient landscape, winding the clock back to the Roman invasion of Britain. This is where the Roman Fort Build comes in. Visitors can walk amongst the construction site of a full-size timber and earthwork fort recreated using traditional techniques wherever possible. It’s pretty impressive!
Our blend of bushcraft, woodland skills and outdoor education marries well with what the team on site are trying to achieve here, complimenting what is already on offer.
Phil Hirst, one of the Park Directors told us; “All of the team at Park in the Past are really delighted to welcome James and Lea Kendall from Woodland Classroom to our heritage and conservation attraction in January 2023. Our new partnership will extend the range and quality of inspiring experiences for visitors. James and Lea’s unique approach to engaging with Mother Nature and forgotten country crafts will greatly enhance our ability to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our communities. We can’t wait to get started!”
James Kendall, Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom shared his enthusiasm; “We are extremely excited to be working with Park in the Past and can’t wait to be able to offer our courses and events at this fantastic venue. We will be bringing our established programme of bushcraft, wild food foraging, forest school and nature-based wellbeing to this site as well as a whole host of new courses for people who want to develop their outdoor skills or deepen their connection with nature.”
If you want to check out our upcoming courses and events, you can do that right here.
“Park in the Past brings so many new opportunities for us with a huge space offering woodland, meadows and scrubland, not to mention the lake which could enable us to offer bushcraft combined with canoeing in the future – two things that go so well together. Where else can you be exploring woodland one minute and then stumble over a Roman fort? The ongoing experimental archaeology projects here are great opportunities to link in our traditional woodland skills and greenwood crafts also. We are also looking forward to lending our experience of sustainable woodland management and working toward improving biodiversity on site as part of our ongoing activities.”
Park in The Past is managed by a Community Interest Company which has been set up to restore and manage the former Fagl Lane Quarry. The project aims to establish a balance between the sustainable management of habitats reserved exclusively for wildlife, and the sensitive utilisation of the site for commercial, educational and interpretative purposes. Park In The Past aims to create a balanced mixture of safe wildlife havens as well as areas for people to safely enjoy the site.
Park In The Past is easily accessible from the A55 North Wales Expressway. Chester City Centre is only 20 minutes drive away. Central Wrexham is just 15 mins drive away. The site is also within walking distance of Hope railway station.
The venue has lots of exciting plans for the future including the construction of a Celtic village and farm, a state-of-the-art visitor centre and a growing educational programme for schools focusing on ancient British history. As time goes on this venue is going to get better and better.
If all this wasn’t enough, there’s even an on-site bushcraft shop, Outdoor Adventure Supplies, which offers a range of outdoor kit to get you started. So, after your course with us you can purchase your own knife, hammock or fire-steel and get bushcrafting.
Some people have asked us what this all means for Woodland Classroom offering courses and hosting groups at both Erddig and Chirk Castle. We’ve had a strong relationship with the National Trust, having hosted our courses at these venues since 2016 and we will continue to offer Felin Puleston Outdoor Centre at Erddig as a venue for outdoor education. In addition, a number of our bushcraft and foraging courses will still be hosted at Chirk Castle as it is a site which offers a completely different set of flora and fungi to Park In The Past. This way we can demonstrate the diversity that different sites can offer to the bushcrafter or forager. However, Park In The Past will become our principle home going forward.
Look out for more announcements over the coming months for our new course programme, venue launch event and the development of our new Bushcraft Basecamp and Forest School activity areas at Park In The Past. Our sincerest thanks go out to Paul and the rest of the Park In the Past team for letting us come and play in their sandbox.
If you are interested in bringing your school class, group or family along to a session with us at Park In The Past for a session with us then do get in touch.
We’re excited for the future and can’t wait to share this new venue with you all.
James & Lea