Forest School Day gratitude thoughts -
The the pleasures of weeing and pooing in the woods!
Jon Cree Forest School Director
You probably think this is a strange topic to talk about in Forest School BUT as everyone knows children especially relish a conversation about poo and wee. After all if we didn’t poo and wee where would our waste go? And what’s even more important from a nature connection point of view such acts in the woods put us directly in contact with two of the important cycles in nature – the water and soil cycle.
So there is something gratifying about actually doing it in the woods when you know you are giving something back and at the same time in one of the most beautiful toilets in the world!
This year especially I am so grateful to a particular Forest School site in the middle of Worcester city, Bramblewood – yes we are pooing in the middle of the city (actualy all human city dwellers do it but mostly in the hidden depths of a house). WHAT I hear you say…yes but in a most luxurious compost loo that I was invited to help build during lockdown.
This toilet has been my salvage in amongst the isolation of the pandemic. Under the leadership of Sam and Helen to be able to craft from scrap wood and ash trees coppiced in Bramblewood and watch the said loo rise from the earth has been an absolute joy (see the video of gratitude from Helen below). The loo has a view…yes a view out of the back over the site and it is good fun to follow the pipes into the soak away and to know that the poo, which doesn’t smell by the way, will rot and mix with the straw and soil and is giving back to the wood.
There is something deeply gratifying about listening to the chiff chaffs as they gather to wend their way back to Africa while contemplating this ‘giving back’ sat in luxury looking at the hand carved handles. And now we can bring adult groups on the site where they can defacate in dignity and know they too are in close touch with the wood while performing this very essential and important act generates a feeling of anticipation as the site moves into its next phase as a community wood as well as a Forest School.
So on Forest School day I am going to meditate on this a say aloud a big thanks to toilets and wild wee spots in forest school sites around the world and the deeper nature connection that comes with this sacred act!