A NEW 'forest classroom' is being created in the Yorkshire Dales to educate children about the natural world.

The outdoor learning area will be built on grounds within Askrigg Voluntary Controlled Primary School and will also serve local community groups including scouts and brownies.

Children from schools in Bainbridge, Askrigg and West Burton will also be able to use the outdoor learning facility.

The forest classroom project is the brainchild of the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group (YDMG) as part of its ambition to support primary schools in the Dales.

To fund the latest garden, gamekeepers and YDMG members raised more than £3,330 at their annual working gundog event and charity auction, the HectorKirk Moorland Challenge Cup which took place last month before coronavirus restrictions.

The money raised from the event, along with a kind donation from the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, will fund the construction of the outdoor learning space.

Sonya Wiggins, coordinator of the YDMG, said: “Thank you to all the people who kindly gave their time to help make our annual gundog trial event the success that it was, not to mention all the competitors and their dogs."

She added: “Bringing nature into young lives and the classroom is at the heart of all our efforts and without such support and enthusiasm amongst our members within the group, and local businesses in our community, valuable education initiatives like our forest classroom simply could not go ahead.

“Once complete, this will be our second outdoor learning facility in the Dales which we are extremely proud of.

"Our first forest classroom at Kettlewell Primary School opened its doors in September of 2018 and has proved a real hit with so many pupils and community groups learning about our precious moorland and the wide array of plants and animals living on their doorstep.”

The HectorKirk Moorland Challenge Cup was sponsored by Dog & Field.