Children at Whistlewood

Whistlewood is open to families most days of the year.  We have a natural childrens play area, including our fantastic willow dragon, and this is located in the main woodland with public access.

But most of all we find that children love running through the long grass, looking at bugs in our bug hotel, playing with sticks, and searching for creatures in the ponds.

Forest School

Forest School is a unique approach which enables children to develop their independence, creativity and confidence through interactions with the natural world and real life experiences. Whistlewood is a fantastic place for Forest School adventures and we have a range of activities available for all ages.  From stay and play sessions to holiday clubs and more.

Details of the various forest school activities are detailed on the website of our provider, Derby Forest schools, where you will find links for booking.

Birthday Parties

Whistlewood is a unique off-grid venue for a children’s birthday party and we have party packages for daytime and overnight hire.  Site hire comes with access to the site facilities including the Roundhouse, compost toilets, equipped kitchen with pots, pans and cutlery, all-weather shelter, tables and chairs and campfire, as well as the Willow Dragon, Mud Kitchen and storytelling chair. In the Spring and Summer months you can also hire the yurt for daytime and night-time use. Further information about parties can be found on our shop by clicking here. We can even hook you up with a qualified Forest School Leader to lead your party, through Derby Forest Schools.

Duke of Edinburgh volunteering and work experience

We hold regular volunteering sessions for young people – please get in touch by emailing

Scouts and Guides, schools and other groups

We welcome groups to the site – please get in touch to arrange your visit by emailing

Family volunteering

Families are also welcome to working Saturdays and other volunteer events.


And we have activities and events throughout the year, aimed at or open to Families.