ANTROBUS Nursery has offered its thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers who help staff to create a woodland learning space.

The small rural nursery is located in Frandley and owned by Claire Chalmers and Alex Jarvis.

While other nurseries in the area decided to close as the coronavirus lockdown came into force, Antrobus Nursery remained open for children of key workers aged from six months to school age.

During this time, they even accepted children from other settings to allow key workers to continue their vital role in helping to keep the country going.

The parents of one child who joined the nursery during the lockdown said: “Myself and my husband are both NHS doctors and our two-year-old daughter normally attends a different nursery, but it closed down at short notice when the lockdown started.

“As we have no family nearby, this left us completely without childcare and we would have been unable to work if it hadn't been for Antrobus Nursery being so accommodating.”

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Alex and Claire came up with the idea of creating a woodland area on site to allow children to social distance in the case of a second virus wave, but also to allow them to learn more about nature and wildlife.

“If a second wave of the virus does happen, the woodland area will allow children to continue coming to nursery and social distance in the outdoors,” Alex said.

“The virus could be around for a long time, and some parents are still reluctant to let their children back into indoor settings.

“The space will be used for outdoor learning through play and we can have sessions where children can learn about nature and wildlife.

“We’ve also got a big tent on the site where children can do activities that they would normally do indoors like colouring.”

Alex and Claire were given permission by the grandfather of one of the nursery children to use a patch of woodland next to the nursery, and thanks to the generosity and hard work of local residents, the space started to come to life.

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During its creation, farmers from the area brought tyres and logs to use as seating and tables, while parents gave their time to help put the site together and build fencing.

Even police sergeant Phil Metcalfe gave a helping hand and spent endless hours helping to complete the project.

“We couldn't have asked for ant more in terms of the amount of help that we had,” Alex and Claire added.

“Antrobus is a wonderful community and it just goes to show how much we are valued.”

The woodland area has had so much interest that they have now extended the idea to become a school holiday club, where children of all ages can come and learn outdoors in a safe distanced environment.

For more information, contact Claire on 07445 859676 or Alex on 07446 068300, or to book a place, email