Forest Experience

In alignment with the current national strategy on outdoor recreation in Ireland, Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors 2023-2027, the Westmeath Sports Partnership has developed a programme that provides opportunities for community groups or youth organisations to explore and get active in native Irish woodlands as part of its ‘Forest Experience’ programme.

We partner with highly trained and experienced ‘forest school’ leaders and tutors to provide a fully immersive experience in some of Westmeath’s most beautiful and tranquil woodlands. Below you’ll find just some of what can be offered as part of this programme:

  • Forest Games and Teamwork: We believe in play! Engage in fun forest games, build camaraderie through group play, and strengthen teamwork skills. The forest becomes your playground.
  • Skills Galore: Get hands-on! From rope work to foraging, you’ll acquire practical skills that connect you to the forest. And yes, you’ll even get to test out those cozy hammocks—because who doesn’t love a gentle sway among the trees?
  • Craftsmanship: Ever tried your hand at carving and whittling? You’ll learn these ancient skills, creating beautiful wooden treasures amidst the trees. And if you’re feeling adventurous, help build a cozy forest shelter or den.
  • Natural Arts and Crafts: Express yourself by using the native materials in the woodland to create inspiring connections with nature.
  • Firelight Magic: Gather ’round the campfire. Our forest leaders will teach you the art of safe and responsible fire lighting.
  • Mindfulness Retreat: Amidst the whispering leaves, find moments of stillness. Practice mindfulness, gentle yoga, and mindful movement.
  • Flora and Fauna: Would you like to know more about the secret lives of plants and animals? Our experts will introduce you to the wonders of flora and fauna. Learn to identify different species, appreciate their unique features, and understand their roles in the ecosystem.
  • Wildlife Guardians: Our experienced leaders are more than guides—they’re wildlife guardians. They’ll show you how to respect and care for the creatures that call these woods home, promoting the Leave No Trace principles, a set of ethics supporting conservation of the outdoors.

We have run several successful programmes with a diverse range of groups including Youth Work Ireland Midlands, Foróige, and organisations assisting refugees and Ukrainian migrants.

Previous Program Locations:

  • Mullaghmeen Forest
  • Jonathan Swift Park beside Lilliput Adventure Centre, Mullingar
  • Portlick Forest, Athlone

Curious to Know More? Reach out to our Outdoors Development Officer, Cian Fogarty, via email at cian.fogarty@westmeathcoco.ie.