Club aiming to tackle 'nature deficit disorder'
A new outdoor activity club in which children get to run wild in woods is being launched near Bath at the weekend.
The Woodland Rangers, aimed at five to 13-year-olds, is the idea of pub landlord Jamie Pike.
Mr Pike, who runs the Upton Inn at Upton Cheyney, hopes that youngsters will learn from their adventures in nearby privately-owned 36-acre woods, as well as reap the health benefits of being in the great outdoors.
He has been inspired by a report published by the National Trust in April which said there was "overwhelming" evidence that children had lost touch with the natural world and that urgent action was needed to tackle "nature deficit disorder".
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Mr Pike, a father of two young children, said: "The sole purpose of Woodland Rangers is getting kids outside.
"Nothing helps children grow, develop and find freedom like being in the wild."
He is working in partnership with the group Wild 4 Learning to offer a fully supervised service run by qualified child care professionals.
The woodland is owned by Sir Henry Lawrence who was more than happy to allow Mr Pike to use it at weekends.
Children will hunt for bugs, build dens, try their hand at bushcraft and learn about countryside conservation.
They will also get the chance to cook outdoors and take photographs.
The club will run throughout the year, with two three-hour sessions on a Saturday and a three-hour session on a Sunday.
The cost is £15 per child or £10 for children under eight for a two-hour session. Drinks and lunch are included and there is a maximum of 18 children per session. Children are dropped off and collected near the woods.
Call 0790 092 7652 to book a session or visit http://www.uptoninn.com/ Rangers.htm.