About Us

“The best classroom is roofed only by the sky

Our staff, Georgina, Michelle, Katie, Louise and Chloe  love outdoor play and learning. Our combined decades of experience in working with children and young people of all ages and abilities has given us a deep understanding of how children learn and the holistic benefits of learning in nature, this helps us to provide opportunities tailored to each child’s interests and learning style.

We offer a nurturing, secure and supportive base from which our children can explore.

We are an Ofsted registered EYFS and childcare setting. All of our staff are qualified practitioners that are first aid trained and are continually developing their practice aiming to provide the best possible care for our children.

Saplings provides:

Term time early years education and care at Co. Durhams only Nature Kindergarten.

Holiday clubs for school aged children during some of the school holidays

Forest school programmes to schools, nurseries and home-ed groups.

We see each and every child as a unique, competent learner who has a natural understanding of the world around them and a fascination with all aspects of it.  In order to achieve their potential :

We believe in outdoor play, every day, for all children, throughout the year

We are a Community Interest Company, which means our business benefits the local community. We do this not only through our education programmes and community events but by the support and conservation of our local environment, in particular Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve.

The dene is home to an extraordinary variety of birds, more than 450 species of plants, and mammals including roe deer and fox. We are committed to helping children and families access this beautiful, local environment and to help preserve it for future generations.

Saplings is a unique and exciting setting based at the Oakerside Dene Lodge in Peterlee, an entrance to the nature reserve. We would love you to be part of our community here at Castle Eden Dene so all of our children get the opportunity to develop nature connections in this amazing community asset.