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Den Building

Dens are a simple way for all ages to enjoy building.

How to build

  • Children are very industrious when building dens and will happily drag large pieces of wood considerable distances. Lots of pieces of wood or brash are required for den building. These should be regularly replenished from other sites where brashing or harvesting operations have recently taken place.
  • Build one den to provide a visual trigger for others to copy.
  • Host a den building event and designate Dens are a simple way for all ages to enjoy building. Den building a particular space in the forest where den building is promoted; this might avoid it taking place everywhere.
  • Consider creating some basic structures with branch wood fixed together with rope onto which other people can add their own smaller branches or covering material. Avoid using nails or screws as these will remain protruding from wood when the structure is dismantled. Some dens could be partially constructed from slab wood or treated timbers.
  • If there is a shortage of materials some dens could be dismantled on a regular basis to allow others to be rebuilt. Always leave one den to provide a cue for others to follow.

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Last updated: 8th March 2016

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.