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Guidance for visits

Advice for groups visiting Sherwood Pines 

At Sherwood Pines the safety of visiting groups is paramount and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have on health and safety issues. The following guidance is intended to help you understand the general risks associated with a visit and to enable you to plan accordingly.
In addition we offer all group leaders a free preliminary visit to the Forest Park to familiarise themselves with the site and its facilities.

NB: this information is provided for guidance only – you should carry out your own assessment. It is your responsibility to ensure your accompanying adults are aware of health and safety issues.

Risk Assessments

We risk assess our site and our ranger led activities and we are happy to provide copies of these risk assessments when you book. It is your responsibility to risk assess any self led activities or time when rangers are not leading (such as lunchtime, play areas etc). This should be in accordance with your employer/LEA guidelines. If you are undertaking any independent activities during your visit we would be happy to discuss health and safety issues with you.

Clothing

Sherwood Pines is an outdoor environment and your group should come dressed appropriately. We recommend:

  • Waterproof, sturdy shoes with non-slip soles; open-toed sandals should not be worn.
  • Waterproof coat
  • Warm jumper

In addition to this, we recommend that groups coming at particular times of year also bring/wear:

  • Gloves, hat and scarves
  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream
  • Extra water

It is your responsibility to ensure parents are aware of what their child should wear/bring. If you are undertaking a led visit, the education team will assess the appropriateness of your students’ clothing. Failure to comply with our guidelines may result in your activities being modified, or in extreme cases, cancelled altogether.

First Aid

It is your responsibility to ensure that at least one accompanying adult has first aid training and is carrying a first aid kit. Most Forestry Commission staff have basic knowledge of First Aid and have kits at their disposal, although the prime responsibility for rendering First Aid remains with the Group Leader. Should you need further first aid assistance during your visit please go to the small classroom/visitor centre where you can contact staff to alert a first aider.

Special needs

It helps us to plan activities and tailor sessions appropriately if we know of any special needs, even though they may be fully supported by your staff. As such it is your responsibility to inform us in writing about any special needs your students have before your arrival. There is a space for this information on the booking form.

Behaviour

The education team staff will give clear guidelines on appropriate behaviour for all activities. However, it is your responsibility to manage the behaviour of your students and enforce the guidelines provided. You should ensure all accompanying adults are aware of their responsibilities and are ready to take an active part in the activities.

Supervision Ratios

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have enough adult helpers to comply with your LEA guidelines on supervision ratios.

However we recommend the following ratios of adults to students.

  • Nursery Class and reception classes 1 adult: 4 pupils
  • School years 1 – 6 1 adult: 5 pupils
  • School years 7 and above 1 adult: 10 pupils

The education team will monitor supervision ratios from the details on your booking form and at the start of your visit. Failure to have adequate supervision may result in changes to your activities or in extreme cases the cancellation of your programme if the team feel that the supervision ratio is insufficient to allow the activities to be carried out safely.

Play

We have a number of sets of play equipment in the forest, which are regularly inspected. You are welcome to allow your group to use these area but please be aware that it is your responsibility to risk assess and supervise this play. There may be other groups or visitors using the areas so please ask young people to be sensitive towards other users and monitor your group’s behaviour. Most of our play equipment is made of woods and consequently can be slippery when wet.

 
Last updated: 14th April 2016

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