MORE than 100 adults and children joined forces to clear the way for a new forest school in Rawtenstall.

The team began work preparing the site near St Paul’s Constable Lee Primary School, in Hollin Lane, for Larkhill Rise Forest School.

Youngsters from St Paul’s, Bright Futures Nursery School and Alder Grange Community Technology School will be the main groups to benefit from the project, which will feature an outdoor classroom, chickens, mud slide and pit, fire pit, mud kitchen, bog and vegetable gardens and poly and willow tunnels.

The scheme, which will also be available for use by charities including Home-Start Rossendale, is to open in September after fences have been erected and trees trimmed. Buildings and facilities will be added as cash becomes available.

Acting headteacher of St Paul’s, Samaira Nasim, said: “I would like to thank our partners and everyone who has contributed to make this dream a reality.

“I would also like to pass on the thanks of the Larkhill Rise Forest School team to everyone who turned up with their families for the Big Dig 2 this weekend.

“Although it was hard work, it was really rewarding to see how much we all achieved.

“There was a great community spirit with children enjoying the wildlife uncovered.”

Parent Nusrat Karim said: “Larkhill Rise Forest School will be a wonderful resource for children.

“I am delighted the schools and nursery are providing different learning activities to engage them and boost their confidence.”

Rossendale MP Jake Berry, who lent a hand clearing the site, said: “St Paul’s is a real example of how to make your school family an integral part of the wider Rossendale community.

“This outstanding project has drawn in local parents, pupils, teachers along with other local people who are working together to improve the learning environment for young people in the Valley.

“I was glad to be able to help, and I hope I am invited back to sample the eggs from the hand-reared chickens.”