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About Us

At Wilderness Adventures we are passionate about the benefits of child-led outdoor learning, where children have the freedom to play, learn new skills, take managed risks, challenge themselves and both explore and connect to their natural world. 

We believe the Forest School ethos of holistic development is as much applicable to adults as it is to children.  We aim to give adults the space and time to learn new skills, find support in meeting like minded people and benefit from being in the great outdoors

About us

Our Story

3 small children lounging in a hammock together, relaxing and talking in a woodland, surrounded by tall trees

Wilderness Adventures was originally a dream of Steve Brondel - you can still see his posts on our Facebook page, and we wont be deleting these as it is part of our history and our identity.  Nicola worked for Steve and ran the Saplings Forest School Playgroups.   When Steve's career took him and his family on another path they offered to sell their equipment to us, to carry the mantel so these Sapling groups could continue. 

So, in September 2020 Molly and Nicola launched Wild in the Woods Ltd; a Pontefract based Forest School initially running sessions at a private woodland in Ackworth.  Although our vision of the business has diverged, in line with our skill sets, the core beliefs we think are still very much in line.

The end of 2020, mid pandemic, was a time when people were coping with progressive isolation, for those families with young children we offered a community where families found support and children were allowed much needed normality.  We took advantage of our 100% outdoors environment, allowing us to run safely and responsibly for much of the pandemic.

We are currently running forest school playgroups which regularly support 50-60 families a week, forest school sessions for older children, parties, we have started delivering forest school sessions to local SEN schools, we are running a Summer Club and we are running extra sessions during the summer holidays due to demand!  We have 3 self employed staff who regularly work with us.  And we now run regular sessions in Kippax, Temple Newsam and at Yorkshire Gateway Hotel near South Milford.

We are lucky to have a beautiful and growing community of like-minded families who are a joy to work with.  We have much more in the pipeline including adult forest school sessions, craft activities and fund raising activities for local charities. Its been a challenging year and the trials of the pandemic are likely not over yet.  We have learnt and grown a lot, but we love and believe in what we do and we knew that the positive impact we could offer was always worth the fight. 

In August 2021 we were rewarded for our hard work with the 'Entrepreneurial Excellence' GOLD award from Wakefield Bounce Back Week Awards :D Which was totally unexpected but also pretty fantastic!! (Wakefield Bounce Back Week is a collaborative partnership made of stakeholders from the Wakefield district including Wakefield First, Mid Yorkshire chamber of Commerce, FSB, We Are Wakefield, Leeds Beckett University, Wakefield College and DWP)

In Aug 2023 we were awarded  "Outdoor Adventure Experience of the Year" in the Yorkshire Prestige Awards 2023/24.  The awards are rolling in now! :D 

Not-for-Profit with Community and Wellbeing at our Heart

In 2023 we converted our business from a limited business to a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and instated a committee to help us grow.  We put our hearts and souls (and pennies!) into this business so in some ways this was a hard decision, but in others it was the easiest and most logical thing we have ever done.  Our business model has always put the wellbeing and holistic development of our learners and staff, and the environment over profit.  We believe what we do is so much more than that!  With the cost of living ever increasing and the realisation that so many more families would benefit from our services, we have converted to a C.I.C, and will endeavour to secure funding so we can reach more families and grow our community even further!

Committee: Hazel Hunter-Steele (Chair); Nicola Cowell (Secretary); Molly Chapman (Treasurer) and ordinary members: Beverley Walker, Michelle Dixon, Karen Umbleby, Joanne Buck & Courtney Gowler

Not-For-Profit & Proud!

Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Our Committee:

Hazel Hunter-Steele (Chair); Nicola Cowell (Secretary); Molly Chapman (Treasurer) and ordinary members: Beverley Walker, Michelle Dixon, Karen Umbleby, Joanne Buck & Courtney Gowler

Our Staff:

Join Our Team?

Read what our clients are saying...

Facebook review:  We absolutely love our Friday mornings because of this place, its fantastic and my little one asks to go all the time!  Nicola and Molly are brilliant!  They do such a fab job making different activities exciting and open ended play for the children.  They're friendly and inviting.  Thank you for making it so brill, we love it!  Gemma & Charlie
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