Educational charity Xplore! Science Discovery Centre is today announcing the launch of Xplore! Nature – its brand-new environmental science hub.   

The woodland on Wrexham Glyndwr University’s (WGU) Northop campus in Flintshire will be the home of Xplore!’s first ever forest school sessions, as well as providing a space for their specialist environmental science activities.   

Xplore! Nature will breathe new life into an area of ancient woodland through hosting schools, community groups and birthday parties. In centuries gone by, WGU’s Northop campus has been home to an immense amount of history – from a 16th century flour mill to a Second World War prisoner of war camp, as well as an ancient Roman road to the famous Wat’s Dyke.   

As well as bringing opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with the natural world, Xplore! is proud of the fact that the 95 acres of forest will be protected and managed for future generations.  

Scot Owen, Xplore! Centre Manager, said “It’s wonderful to be able to offer an even wider selection of science experiences than we ever have before. The new site at Northop will be our first time having a dedicated wild site to explore and open up for all.   

“While our Wrexham-based Xplore! Discovery Science Centre has provided a setting for hundreds of birthday parties over its 20 years of trading, our new facility will provide the perfect backdrop for some incredible campfire birthday parties.   

“The importance of environmental science has never been clearer and Xplore! is delighted to be able be able to offer activities that will foster a passion for ecology, biology, zoology and much more with Xplore! Nature.”     

Xplore! Nature will be able to investigate, explore and foster the imagination of the next generation of environmental scientists, as well as infuse this generation with a love of environmental science, the outdoors and feeling at home within nature.   

Lynda Powell the Executive Director of Operations at WGU and a member of the board of trustees of North Wales Science Limited, added: “The launch of Xplore! Nature – the charity’s new environmental science hub – signals a hugely exciting time, particularly as Xplore! celebrates its 20th birthday this year.  

“Xplore! Nature will provide people of all ages the opportunity to engage with nature, as well as enjoy a whole host of fascinating environmental science activities here in beautiful North Wales.”  

While the idea of Forest Schools is not new, the concept has certainly gained momentum in Wales over the past few years strengthened by the Future Generations Act citing ‘a healthier Wales’ as one of the seven wellbeing goals.   

The Forest School Association describe forest schools as a child-centred inspirational learning process that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking, while developing confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.     

The prevalence of social prescribing has also accelerated the need to provide alternative, preventative mental health interventions aimed at supporting individuals to take greater control of their own health.  While the treatments are often referred to in terms of individual activities, some organisations have been quick to see the benefits of a workforce that practices mindfulness through a greater connection with nature and Xplore! are keen to hear from workplaces whose teams may enjoy a wellbeing day in the woods.   

Over the coming months, Xplore! and their parent company Wrexham Glyndwr University will be announcing more details of this exciting partnership for North Wales and beyond.   

If you are interested in finding out more or would like to express interest in booking activities at the site, please get in touch, by emailing: nature@xplorescience.co.uk or calling: 01978 293400.