We have been creating Magical Gardens in schools, nurseries and children’s centres for thirty years. We began in 1990, creating the Leeds and Bradford Green Directory. Following its release, Richard, our project coordinator, began working in schools, promoting recycling and sustainability. This gave him an idea. He realised that in most of the schools he visited, the grounds were under-used, devoid of character and in some cases, devoid of everything but tarmac. Soon, he was sourcing pallet-wood, old scaffold boards and telegraph poles to make planters and other outdoor items for schools and nurseries to enhance their outdoor spaces.
Richard - together with a team of like minded wildlife and woodland experts - began to manage local woodlands for wildlife, and with the timber they harvested, the began to make a larger range of items.
Now, with a huge workshop, a saw-milling yard, and a team of 7 or 8 staff, Outdoor Classrooms is now producing hundreds of products. We still manage and thin-out woodlands in Yorkshire for the benefit of wildlife and ecosystems, and all our products are made from the trees that we fell.
All of our timber is naturally durable. We use oak, cedar and larch mainly, species of timber that are naturally resistant to rot. We never tanalise our timber. The tanalising process involves the use of arsenic, which leeches into your soil and contaminates little hands.