Moving through the Woods: Developing Children's Connection and Appreciation of Nature




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


Itwana, Leiden University, Netherlands



Peer reviewed


I have always been interested in the importance of our connection to nature and its relationship with sustainability. Thus, I am particularly keen to examine how engagement with FS can support children’s connection to nature and the extent to which it can go some way in developing their pro-environmental behaviors and ideas of sustainability (Kuo et al., 2019). I am also interested in how involvement in FS is developing children’s confidence (Murray & O’Brien, 2005) and motivation to learn (Skinner & Chi, 2012), as well as how it can have a positive impact on their well-being (Capaldi et al., 2014). However, it is to the former that I think is most important and I am minded of the comments from a practitioner involved in FS in one primary school who told me that “…we’re seeing apocalyptic reports of the environment and these things are linked, it’s our artificiality. We’re obsessed by the artificial and I just think that FS is a way of fighting back against that”.

This essay is to share briefly with you some preliminary insights from my current research and interest in FS Education. My current research project draws on a range of empirical methods including focus groups and interviews with teachers, practitioners and children, as well as observations and participant observations of FS practice in a number of schools. Further data is also drawn from field notes that I kept during a FS Leader programme I attended from April 2017 through to May 2018


open access journal


Nature Connection, Forest School, Sustainability


Cudworth, D. (2021) Moving through the Woods: Developing Children’s Connection and Appreciation of Nature, ICA Institute of Cultural Anthropology, 1, Movement.


Research Institute

Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice