Play

Birdsong

Super Roots

Super roots child jumping in puddle
den leaves play
den leaves play
den leaves play

What are SUPER ROOTS? 

den leaves play
leaf art print

Combining the principles of Adventure Play and Forest School, Super Roots nurture curiosity & enjoyment of the natural world/ its materials to improve health, wellbeing, empowerment and resilience of children and families, through adventurous play, using tools, fire and imagination outdoors. 

ADVENTURE

We support the right of all children to “Learn By Doing”, be rich in imagination, to have regular experience of building + cooking on a fire, to use tools, climb trees and develop natural resilience and empathy from these outdoor experiences in all weathers   #NaturalHealthService

FOREST SCHOOL

Nurturing curiosity about the natural world through science, folk histories and practical uses, is an amazing way to foster immersive, multi-sensory learning across the curriculum.  Forest School is a child led approach to learning and whether looking at small worlds of minibeasts or nature’s power of diversity, it is about sowing the seeds of exploring, observing, sharing, discovering.  Forest School Principles.

 

“A tree with

strong roots

laughs at storms”

PLAY

Creating magical memories and celebrating children’s natural spirit of adventure not only makes education become alive, but has the power, through play, to be a lifelong resource to return to, benefiting physical, social & mental health.  

COMMUNITY

As a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, we offer outdoor education that is inclusive, affordable and accessible; a collaborative space where everyone can feel welcome to lead the adventure.   We link with community organisations to enrich and connect local communities.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE

Super Roots is active in bringing resources and activities to support children’s understanding of key concepts around climate action and the decolonization of nature.  Building hands-on positive relationships between children and nature is crucial to inspiring practical solutions for climate change/ loss of biodiversity and to counterbalance the “extinction of experience”.

“As cities… forsake their natural diversity, and their citizens grow more removed from personal contact with nature, awareness and appreciation retreat. This breeds apathy toward environmental concerns and, inevitably, further degradation of the common habitat….So it goes, on and on, the extinction of experience sucking the life from the land, the intimacy from our connections… people who don’t know don’t care. What is the extinction of the condor to a child who has never known a wren?”  

Robert Pyle, 1975

ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE

Super Roots is active in bringing resources and activities to support children’s understanding of key concepts around climate action and the decolonization of nature.  Building hands-on positive relationships between children and nature is crucial to inspiring practical solutions for climate change/ loss of biodiversity and to counterbalance the “extinction of experience”.

“As cities… forsake their natural diversity, and their citizens grow more removed from personal contact with nature, awareness and appreciation retreat. This breeds apathy toward environmental concerns and, inevitably, further degradation of the common habitat….So it goes, on and on, the extinction of experience sucking the life from the land, the intimacy from our connections… people who don’t know don’t care. What is the extinction of the condor to a child who has never known a wren?”  

Robert Pyle, 1975

WHO is SUPER ROOTS?

Established by Ellen Vellacott, with support from Shaun Turner, just before covid struck in 2020. 

The CIC was originally set up to fund the continuation of free nature-inspired family events at Hackney City Farm (since Dec 2018), but under covid shifted to offer targeted group sessions: girls and young women, hyperlocal Bushcraft/ woodland connection sessions to social housing estates, home education and alternative learning provision for young people at risk of becoming NEET.

hammock

Ellen Vellacott is a freelance Forest School Leader and also works with Made From Scratch (Creating Sanctuaries for the Imagination) on design & build workshops with children.  She co-founded Newham Natural Crafts, while living in Barking Creek.

Her background, since 2005, has been a playworker then Senior Playworker for SEN and open access Adventure Playgrounds in inner London, developing projects with children with SEND (Specialist Educational Needs & Disabilities) and SEMH (Social, Emotional & Mental Health needs).

She has been a facilitator on off-grid camps, with the educational charity, Forest School Camps for over 20 years.

fire play ellen

Shaun Turner is a carpenter who has built and taught workshops using eco building materials/ techniques and off grid power systems for over 20 years.  An integral part of any Super Roots building project or event, he has a passion for alternative education, particularly mechanical inventing, treehouse building art and exploring nature with children.

Shaun’s roots at Hackney City Farm go back over fifteen years with construction of the straw bale building, design and building the green-roof shipping container classroom in the pig pen, establishing the Biodiesel project (visited by Duke + Duches of Cornwall), bike generator workshops with Low Impact Living Initiative (LILI) and the technical manager for Magnificent Revolutionary Bike Powered events (cinema, sound system).

leaf art print

Super Roots CIC has a team of Forest School leaders and assistants with an eclectic mix of backgrounds/ experience/ skills:

Laura Hyde: FS Leader and artist, Director – Igor & Me

Marcelo White: Mycologist, Aboriculturist, Tree Musketeer trustee 

Stuart Walker: FS Leader, Director of Natterjacks Outdoors, Woodcraft Folk trustee

Abai Coulson-Stevens: FS Trainee, Artist/ Designer

Lynne Plested: FS assistant, Craft workshop leader

George Mayfield: FS Leader, Parkour teacher/ performer

Ludo Helin: Circus teacher and performer

Natali Castro: FS Trainee, Wellbeing circle facilitator, performer