Forest School

Give your child the very best start in life

Where nature ignites learning and adventure!

Are you ready for a pre-school experience like no other?

Step into a world of enchantment and exploration at YMCA Fairthorne Manor Forest School, for ages 3-4. Nestled within the breathtaking woodlands of Fairthorne Manor. We invite you and your child to embark on an extraordinary journey where nature becomes the ultimate classroom and every day is filled with thrilling outdoor adventures.

Ignite their curiosity

Forest school explore

Roam through ancient woodlands

Forest school discover

 Discover hidden


Forest school thrive

Engage in hands-on activities

Meet the Team


Forest School Team Member

Leanne is no stranger to adventure, spending her winters in the majestic Alps and her summers basking in the Mediterranean, running camps and kids' clubs that create unforgettable memories. For an astounding 13 years, she served as a dedicated full-time Nanny to a wonderful family, bringing her nurturing spirit into their home every day. Her dedication to education led her to become Early Years Qualified, and she holds a Level 2 certification in Forest School, with plans to achieve Level 3 next year. But Leanne's adventures don't stop there—she's explored the depths of the Amazon rainforest, contributing to conservation efforts. Travel is her ultimate passion, and she's always seeking new horizons. At home, she shares her space with two cherished feline companions, and her heart is captivated by the delightful world of ladybirds. Her favourite colours are a reflection of her vibrant personality—green and purple.


Forest School Team Member

Originally hailing from the Black Country, Ansie's not your average teacher; she's a dedicated educator with a passion for empowering children and young people of all ages who have special educational needs and additional requirements. With a background in teaching Drama and Design Technology, she encourages creative learning and exploration. But that's not all— Ansie is also a certified Level 3 Forest School Leader. She's been instrumental in connecting children of mixed ages with the wonders of the great outdoors at Chichester Forest Schools. When she's not in the classroom or the forest, you'll find Ansie enjoying the great outdoors, whether it's camping under the stars, dancing at festivals, or indulging her passion for woodworking. She's all about sustainability, crafting beautiful pieces from reclaimed and recycled wood. Her favourite colour is Green, which perfectly suits her love for nature and the environment.


Forest School Team Member

Hailing from Kent, Danny brings a world of knowledge and adventure to the Forest School team. Armed with a degree in 'Tropical Environmental Sciences,' she embarked on an incredible journey that spanned 8 years across the vast continent of Africa. Her exploits ranged from conservation work to exploring the world of zoology, and she even took on the role of a Safari guide, immersing herself in the wild beauty of the African wilderness. While in Africa, she had the privilege of working at both a Jane Goodall Chimpanzee sanctuary and a Meerkat sanctuary. And here's a mind-blowing fact: Sir David Attenborough himself spent a week at the Meerkat sanctuary, where a daring Meerkat climbed from Danny's head onto his! Her adventures didn't stop there. For 7 years, she served as a dedicated Forest Ranger in the enchanting New Forest, preserving its natural wonders. Inspired by her love for nature, she trained as a Forest School leader and began nurturing young minds at Farley Mount's Forest School before joining the Fairthorne Manor Forest School team. Danny's favourite colour is a reflection of her deep connection with the outdoors—green.


Forest School Lead Practitioner

Nalisha is Fairthorne's Forest School Lead Practitioner. With 15 years of early years experience, including 10 years at YMCA, she's passionate about nature and the great outdoors and has a keen professional interest in child development. Nalisha is currently working towards her Forest School Diploma, aiming to inspire a generation of young nature enthusiasts. She is a mum to two teenage children and she has two pet rabbits. Her favourite colours are yellow and green and she enjoys wild swimming and has a musical heart and a love for live music!


Forest School Team Member

Tina has a strong educational background in psychology, education, and business, and she understands how crucial education is. However, she's always had a passion for the outdoors. Through working with children, young people, and adults in outdoor environments around the world, she's been able to see firsthand the importance of connecting with nature. This experience has given her a perspective that emphasises the need to raise future generations with a love and respect for the planet, as well as for themselves and each other.


We are open Monday to Friday from 9am – 4pm, term time only.
Please view our sessions and fees here.
Being outdoors helps focus on the following key areas for children's development: Communication skills, Self-esteem, Community building, Social skills, Resilience, Confidence, Wellbeing, Independence
Please name all your child's items: • Long Sleeve Top • Full leg trouser (no shorts due to ticks) • Socks • Closed shoes/Boots • Wellies • Waterproofs • Layers for warmth • Spare clothes, underwear, socks, pants • Sun Hat • Suncream • Water Bottle • Woolly hat • Scarf/Snood • Gloves • Backpack • Lunchbox (with cool pack)
You can book by the half-term to attend Forest School - please contact the Nursery on 01489 772222 to arrange this.
All children are free to explore with water and mud and will get dirty during their session. So please dress for mess and send in a spare outfit to change into after. Don’t forget fresh socks and underwear! • During hot weather please bring an additional water bottle, sun hat, and apply sun cream before their session. We will top up throughout, when required. • In the colder months we ask that your child is dressed in lots of layers and have warm boots, hats, scarves/snoods, and gloves. • Waterproofs and boots are an essential piece of kit for Forest School, these can be left on site for those unexpected showers. • We have some spare clothes, boots, and extras available for use but cannot guarantee that we will have the correct size for your child. Please remember to label all bags, clothing items and bottles with your child’s name or initials to reduce the chance of items getting lost or sent home with the wrong person. Thank You.
Please send your child with a packed lunch for a full-day session at Forest School - you can add a lunch session (1 hour) to a morning or afternoon booking.
Fairthorne Forest School will operate in all weather conditions and children should dress appropriately - parents will be informed in advance of any reason for the Forest School to not operate. Children should wear full length tops and bottoms whilst at Forest School. This is to reduce the risk of ticks, insect bites, stings, or scratches from plants. On dry days please send your child in wearing closed toe shoes such as trainers, shoes, boots suitable for woodland floors and tree climbing.

Perfect Location

Find us at YMCA Fairthorne Manor, Curdridge, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GH, which is just 1 mile outside of Botley.

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