Ambitions to start forest school in ‘magical’ Weston quarry – crowdfunding campaign launched

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 September 2018

Louise Brogan and husband Billy of Play Wild who wish to open up a forest school area at Wood Lane Quarry in Weston.

Louise Brogan and husband Billy of Play Wild who wish to open up a forest school area at Wood Lane Quarry in Weston.

Archant

A community-interest company committed to helping children play and learn about nature is raising money to re-open a Weston-super-Mare quarry.

Louise and Billy Brogan set up Play Wild! in 2016 to offer forest school activities in Weston.

Their ultimate ambition is to re-open Wood Lane Quarry which has been closed for at least seven years.

They started raising money for the project last year, but have moved the crowdfunding efforts to Spacehive, a platform backed by North Somerset Council.

Louise said: “The council owns the site, and has said we can lease it, but we need to get the money to make it safe.

“It is a beautiful site, with a magical quality to it.

“We need in the region of £16,000 which would pay for a rock-face survey, and some essential tree works.

“Some of the trees are on the edge of the quarry line so some need to be cut down.

“Once we are in, we would be running a forest school site, offering environmental education for schools and the chance for children to play and explore in a safe environment.”

There is also a small theatre in the quarry, which Louise hopes to bring back into use while also inviting as many people as possible from around Weston to visit.

She said: “We would love to re-open the theatre for small productions and storytelling workshops.

“Weston has a lot of deprived areas, and people don’t necessarily have access to transport or are able to go out to other forest school sites, which are often in villages or outside town.

“We would like to offer outdoor play services and environmental education to children who live in urban spaces in Weston.

“We really want it to be a community space, and although we will be managing and running it, we want to be inviting people to come in.

“Having an open play space where children can explore, test their boundaries and see what they are capable of in that kind of environment is really important.”

To learn more and to donate to the quarry cause, visit www.spacehive.com/re-open-wood-lane-quarry

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