Learn Bushcraft in Sussex with Second Nature

Second Nature offers outdoor learning and bushcraft experiences for children of all ages. Come and develop your forest, field and wilderness skills. Book a place on a bat walk. Talk to the owls. Find out how to track animals. Discover the names of trees and birds. Throw a woodland birthday party. Take part in the John Muir Awards scheme with your family, school or youth group. And combine it all with a stay at Blackberry Woods.

It’s your world – enjoy it!

In the company of your guide and teacher, Nicky Fish, your knowledge of wildlife and awareness of the natural world will evolve every step of the way.

For all courses and bookings, including schools, contact Nicky directly on 01273 905 460 or 07906 582 624. Or complete and return the contact form today. Numbers are limited, so book early to make sure of your place.

This is the best kind of classroom.
No walls, just sky and trees.
From the smallest seed to the largest tree.
This is a forest and a learning place.

Ian Mcmillan
Sussex Forest School class


Book a kids’ birthday party in the woods! (Ages 5 to 12)

A birthday party for kids doesn’t get any wilder than this. You’ll have private exclusive use of large woodland site at Stanmer Park, Brighton. (Other are sites available on request.) There’s a fire pit area with log seating, rope swing, wildlife pond, compost toilet. Plus fun and games organised by your Second Nature host and guide, Nicky.

It’s a lovely space for children to explore freely, play, discover and have lots of fun in a safe outdoor environment. And so popular – and so easy – that parents book again and again.

Activities include: 

Bushcraft birthday party
Book a bushcraft birthday bash in Stanmer Park
  • Camouflage games
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Den building challenge
  • Fire Lighting
  • Marshmallow Toasting
  • Cooking on fire

Cost: £200 for 2 hr party / £250 for 2 1/2 hr party for up to 15 children (an additional £10 per child for 16-25)

The most stress-free chilled birthday party possible

Just to say a really big thank you for Maisie’s party. It couldn’t have been better. We all had a wonderful time.

Kersten Andlaw. Brighton

We’ve just had our twins’ birthday party with Nicky for the second year running. Both were a massive success and their friends still talked about the party a year later! Nicky is a great organiser of games and activities in a beautiful woodland setting. She really captures the children’s imaginations and they have tons of fun in the open air. This is a birthday party to remember – highly recommended.

Johnny & Paul Johnson, Brighton

Coming soon for bat & owl prowlers and bushcraft rangers

Bat walks & owl prowls

Stanmer Park
from late April 2019

Take a gentle stroll in the early evening and discover the amazing nocturnal creatures around the Reserve. Learn to use a bat detector, hear echo location in action, identify bats and find out how to help these special mammals back home with tips for your garden. Listen and call Tawny Owls and if lucky, get up close and personal!

Price: £10 per person

To book, call Nicky directly on 07906 582624

WEATHER WARNING: This event may be rearranged if too wet.

Bat and owl prowl
Bat-boys and bat-girls of all ages welcome on the Stanmer bat and owl prowl.

Summer Bushcraft Rangers
(children aged 6 to 11 yrs)

Stanmer Park Woods
Wednesdays 12-3pm

Come along for a wide range of bushcraft and forest adventures including: fire skills, campfire cooking, den building, camouflage, animal tracking, woodland and stealth games.

Tickets in advance from Nicky on 07906 582624

Boy doing bushcraft
Bushcrafters will be bushcrafters…


Go glamping or camping while the kids go wild

Treehouse glamping in Sussex
You can stay here while the kids go wild.

Second Nature and the Blackberry Wood Campsite are teaming up in 2019. So you can enjoy woodland workshops and activities in the stunning South Downs National Park (near Ditchling/Plumpton) while you go camping, or glamping in the magical Higgledy and Piggledy Treehouses.

Camp and take it easy while the kids join Nicky for adventures on the Wild Side. Or go as a family to learn animal tracking, woodlore techniques and get closer to nature. Activities and workshops are available from the start of Easter holiday (9th April) until late autumn.

Owl whispering at night

Workshop activities include camouflage and stealth games, animal tracking, den building, fire skills, nature walks (plus Bat and Owl Prowl night walks).

For camping enquiries, contact Sharon at Blackberry Wood Campsite, by going to blackberrywood.com. For walks on the wild side, contact Nicky directly on 01273 905 460 or 07906 582 624

Wild this way

Take part in the John Muir Awards

Second Nature can work with your school to develop its grounds while undertaking the prestigious John Muir Award. (Activities that may also work with the Green Trees School Award and Green Flag Eco Awards.)

The John Muir Award is an environmental scheme that supports and encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy, and care for wild places. 

Three levels of achievement

  • Discovery Award
  • Explorer Award
  • Conserver Award

Four challenges for each level

  • DISCOVER a wild place
  • EXPLORE its wildness
  • CONSERVE it, taking personal responsibility
  • SHARE your experiences

Participation can be as a Family, School Group, College, youth organisation, club or outdoor centre. But participants must be able to understand why and how they are doing the activity, so it is recommended for Key Stage 2 and upwards.

John Muir Awards school group
Second Nature runs John Muir Awards schemes in the South Downs National Park

The scheme offers an ideal structure to support pupils and teachers in their engagement with the National Curriculum, and is effective with children and young people who have additional support needs. 

Minimum time commitments range from four days for the Discovery level to six months at the Conserver Award. But the most important aspect is to show enthusiasm and commitment with your involvement with the process. This develops a passion and enjoyment of wild places that lasts a lifetime. 

For further information, contact Nicky at Second Nature or visit the John Muir Awards website.

John Muir was an influential conservationist who was passionate about the wild and dedicated his life to protecting wild places establishing National Parks. He believed we need to experience, enjoy and care for wild places. This message is at the heart of the John Muir Award.

John Muir
John Muir himself

It is not enough for people to be in sympathy with the plight of the natural world, but that they must become ‘active conservationists’, as campaigners, as practical project workers, as scientists, as artists, as writers.

John Muir