London Borough of Croydon

One of the capital’s greenest boroughs, Croydon has more than 120 parks and green spaces. This impressive collection takes in woodlands, chalk grassland, heathland and ponds, together bursting with trees to climb, wildlife to see, views to enjoy, lakes to sail across, and adventures to embark on.

The Croydon Outdoor Explorer Network unites groups, organisations and individuals that strive to reconnect children, young people, families and local communities with the nature that is on their doorstep in Croydon.

Network members include:

  • Schools that offer forest school sessions as part of their teaching, either in their school grounds or in one of Croydon’s many woodlands.
  • Groups and individuals that offer forest school, family nature play, after-school clubs and holiday sessions, in one of Croydon’s green open spaces.
  • Organisations that offer adventurous activities as part of their programme, including scouts, girl guides, air cadets, and other non-uniformed groups.
  • Children’s centres and child minders that offer nature play to early-years.

The council is keen to inspire greater numbers of people, give confidence and guidance to anyone who wants to embark on exploring the wild side of Croydon, or who wants to inspire those in their care with the wonders of nature.

To those ends, the council is promoting the following initiatives:

  • Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees
  • The John Muir Family Awards Scheme – Discover wild places in Croydon, learn together, grow together, get closer to nature and get involved in caring for it. Families with children aged 5+ will commit to take part in four to six days of outdoor adventures to qualify for the award. The award scheme is free and open to all. To register your interest, and to find out more, email biodiversity@croydon.gov.uk
  • Outdoor Explorer Workshops - Rediscover your connection to the natural world and embrace the outdoors, experience for yourself and learn to share the experience with others in your care. Workshops are aimed at early-years practitioners, child minders, teachers, youth leaders and parents. For details of providers in Croydon and more information, email biodiversity@croydon.gov.uk