CHILDREN at the Phoenix Childcare Day Nursery are getting the chance to get closer to nature with a new purpose-built woodland lodge.

The £80,000 lodge, which has been built from sustainable farmed wood, is designed to help pre-school children grow in confidence while learning about nature, and is based on the Gaudet Luce Golf complex in Hadzor.

Phoenix owner Jenny Fernihough, said: “Last year we celebrated five years of our nature school which has seen over 250 local children benefit. But the new lodge allows us to take the children’s education to a different level as it provides new rural learning facility.

“It lets our three and four year-olds investigate nature and work together to learn about the environment. They’ll be able to work independently and as a team – essential social skills that will stand them in good stead as they prepare for primary school.

“They’ll be growing vegetables and flowers too in and around the new lodge and take part in creative activities that help them develop their literacy and numeracy.”

Children will be able to try everything from cooking, and junk modelling, to music and movement, and sand and water play at the new lodge.

Ms Fernihough added: “We are delighted with the response from parents to the new lodge and how it’s allowing their children to take part in activities with a difference. We’re actually now hiring it out for children’s parties at weekends too which I think shows we’ve managed to create a really special place.”