A MUM is opening Barnsley’s first outdoor nursery to bring children back to nature.

Lindsey Bielby has set up Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery - based at Wigfield Farm - after working part-time in an outdoor nursery in Sheffield.

An outdoor nursery means children will be based outside for either all or most of the day. The idea of outdoor nurseries is that children get to learn and experience nature as well as growing in confidence.

The 43-year-old, originally from Darfield but now living in Sheffield, has been running a forest schools programme - an outdoor education model in which children visit natural spaces to learn social and technical skills - for many years, but said she has always wanted to set up a nursery.

“I have worked for many years outside with children,” said Lindsey. “I sent my daughter to an outdoor nursery and I saw how beneficial it was so it inspired me to open my own.”

After spending a long time trying to find a place to open the nursery, Lindsey found out through a mutual friend that another woman - Janet Packer - was also searching to open one up as well; so both women joined together.

Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery aims to teach children how to interact with nature, and Lindsey believes it will help them with their mental wellbeing and general health.

“Playing outside gives them that freedom to learn. It helps their mental health and starts the idea at a young age that nature is a good thing,” she said.

“It also helps with their physical health as well as their mental health.

“With the current climate and a lot being out there discussing obesity, the outdoor nursery encourages the children to move outside. They will learn to climb and experience everything around them. They can be creative and develop their imagination.

“For example, when they pick up a stick; it isn’t just a stick - it’s a sword, it’s a wand, it’s a fishing rod, it’s anything they want it to be.”

The outdoor nursery will be based at Wigfield Farm in Worsbrough and opens in September. See growingwildoutdoornursery.co.uk.