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OWL Scotland Forest School Resource Pack

This substantial and excellent pack features these very useful Forest School leaders equipment, first aid and FS kit lists and much more besides.

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This kit list comes from the OWL Forest School Scotland Resource Pack

"This pack has been designed as a resource to support Forest School leaders and practitioners working in a range of situations across Scotland. The resource is available as a folder comprising the following sections: Contents page; 1. General introduction; 2. Planning; 3. Curriculum Links; 4. Early Years; 5. Primary; 6. Secondary; 7. Special Needs; 8. Practical Activities; 9. References; 10. Appendices."

Just the appendices on their own are extremely useful, covering areas such as

1: General Operating Principles 2: Session Planning Template Form 3: Forest School Kit List and Tools 4: Suitable Clothing for Forest School 5: Standard Equipment Checklist 6: Emergency Procedures 7: First Aid Notes 8: Daily Risk Assessment Form 9: Activity Risk Assessment Form - Site Risk Assessment Template 10: Parental Feedback Request Form 11: Behaviour Observation Baseline Information 12: Individual Reporting Template by Session 13: Session Review Template Form 14: Forest School Leaders/ Helpers Feedback Form 15: Observed Schemas and Preferred Learning Styles 16: Templates for Activities

    "The pack contents require some updating since its creation in 2010, but should provide some useful ideas and activities, templates and sample programmes that you can adapt and develop to fit your particular setting and group."

    OWL Scotland kit lists

    Leader's equipment

    Each leader must have the following:-

    • First Aid Kit
    • Medical details of participants
    • Mobile phone
    • Fresh Water

    As appropriate:-

    • Emergency Rucksack
    • Spare Clothing
    • Set of tools
    • Adequate supply of appropriate Personal Protective Clothing

    APPENDIX 3 Forest School Kit List & Tools

    First Aid kit

    A First Aid Kit, complying with current Health and Safety requirements, should be available at all times. For projects involving up to 10 people, the contents should be as follows:

    • 1 guidance card
    • 20 waterproof plasters
    • 2 no. 16 sterile eye pads
    • 6 triangular bandages
    • 6 safety pins
    • 6 medium sterile dressings 12 x 12cm
    • 4 large sterile dressings 18 x 18cm
    • 10 alcohol free cleansing wipes
    • 2 pairs latex gloves
    • 1 pair scissors, blunt-ended

    The following welfare kit is also useful:

    • Pair of tweezers
    • Pair of scissors
    • Safety pins
    • Needle and thread
    • Pencil
    • Sanitary towels
    • Whistle
    • Toilet roll
    • Cotton wool
    • 30 plasters
    • 3 finger pouches
    • Rubber gloves
    • Insect repellent
    • 2 x 10p pieces
    • Sun cream
    • Barrier cream

    Additional Forest School kit

    • Spare clothing / kit including hat, gloves
    • Survival bag or extra blanket if more remote
    • Session plan
    • Mobile phone
    • Whistle
    • Torch
    • Camera (with spare batteries)
    • Shelter sheets and rope
    • Rugs
    • String and rope
    • Water
    • Matches
    • Specific activity or craft kit
    • High visibility boundary tape
    • Compass and map if necessary
    • A list of local hospitals with casualty departments should also be to hand
    • Nominal role and emergency contact numbers

    Basic Forest School Tool Kit

    The tools you take will depend on the type of work you wish to do and the age/ ability of your group

    Potato PeelersFor peeling & sharpening sticks. Amount depending on agreed ratios
    KnifeCutting. To be held by Forest school Leader.
    SecateursFor cutting/ pruning. The bypass action types are recommended.
    LopperFor cutting/ pruning. Various grades are available for cutting branches up to 3 or 5cm (1 or 2") diameter.
    Silky SawFor cutting/ pruning. Extension poles available for high pruning.
    Bow SawA 53cm (21") bowsaw is suitable for most coppicing work, as its triangular shape makes it possible to use in confined spaces. It is suitable for cutting wood up to 12.5cm (5") diameter. The 60cm (24") bowsaw is suitable for felling large coppice stems, small trees, and for crosscutting felled trees or tree limbs.
    BillhookUsed for coppicing and clearance. Various patterns are available. A fairly light, single edged tool is suitable for most users
    Sharpening Stone
    Variety Of Rope (Polypropylene)


    A visual check must be undertaken before using tools and the correct ratios applied with adults that have been deemed competent to supervise. It is useful to have a laminated kit card, and any faulty tools or tools needing maintenance should be labelled and removed from the kit bag.

    Cleaning tools:

    Tools must always be cleaned before they are put away. Drying mud can accelerate rusting, and makes handles rough for the next user. Clean tools as far as possible in the field, whilst the mud is wet and easy to remove, and thus keep tool boxes and vehicles clean. At the tool store, make cleaning easier by providing, if possible, an outside tap for washing muddy tools, plenty of rags and oil, and drip trays beneath tool racks. Saw blades and spades are especially susceptible to rust if not cleaned and dried. All tool handles should also be wiped with an oily rag from time to time, using linseed oil. Alternatively, the tool can be immersed in a tank of linseed oil for a few days.

    For general oiling buy ordinary vegetable oil. This becomes sticky with age, so purchase in the quantity which suits your needs. Old sump oil contains impurities which can cause damage and may be carcinogenic.

    Like general tidiness, the system will work as long as everyone keeps to it. Once a few tools are put away uncleaned, other people will cease to bother. Check tools regularly for signs of damage, and repair as a preventative measure. This is better than waiting for tools to break in use.

    (BTCV handbook Toolcare, 1986-2007)
    Source: adapted from Forest Schools in Norfolk – Manual (March ’07)


    Children should bring some spare items of clothing in case of any accidents or clothes becoming wet. E.g. spare gloves / socks.

    Forest School leaders should ensure that they carry items of spare clothing in the kit bags.

    As a responsible person, the Forest School leader has the right to exclude any child they think is inappropriately dressed for Forest school activities.


    • Vest or T-shirt Long sleeved top
    • Hooded top / fleece or thick jumper Waterproof jacket
    • Thick socks (thermal or two pairs of thin ones) Trousers
    • Waterproof trousers Wellington boots Hat, gloves and scarf.


    • Long sleeved T-shirt or top Light trousers
    • (Arms and legs must be covered in the woodland)
    • Socks
    • Trainers, shoes or Wellington boots. (Sandals and flip-flops are not suitable.) Sunhat
    • Sunglasses (if required.)

    Participants are also responsible for providing their own insect repellent and sunscreen.

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