Newsletter 2023


With the end of 2023 coming up all too soon, we are delighted to report that Woodlands Adventure has enjoyed a very busy and happy season this year with so many schools, colleges, uniformed and youth groups undertaking a wide range of activities, many of which link to the school curriculum whilst developing many important skills which young people need today – and having lots of fun!

Although our main busy times are during the spring/summer months, we actually never close – well, only for two weeks around Christmas and New Year! We continue to offer residential or camping stays, half day or full day visits whatever the weather. All our activities are subject to full safety procedures and some are even held indoors – for example, our Mini Medics and First Aid courses take place   in the sports hall and Archery can be held indoors in inclement weather; or put on a hat, warm coat and wellies to take part in our engaging Bushcraft sessions which have many elements to choose from: gathering sticks to learn how to light a fire, shelter building using materials sourced from the woods, water purification, whittling items such as a spoon or even a kazoo, making friendship bracelets from vines, plant & tree identification & much more. These are delivered under canvas and man-made shelters all located in our extensive natural woodland areas. So why not consider an autumn/winter visit soon? Please do have a look at our website, email or call for more information: Telephone: 0121 353 7329

Meanwhile, do read on to hear about some exciting new developments which are sure to be of interest….


We are always looking to provide additional and exciting activities for our visitors and we are delighted to announce that with the help of many generous donations from a number of charitable grant   giving trusts, we have just installed a new and exhilarating experience – CAVING. No; we have not discovered an underground cave under the site!! It is an Artificial Caving System which provides a fun and exciting replication of real caving, but in a safe and controlled environment. Similar to indoor climbing walls, artificial caving systems aim to educate, inspire and excite a new generation of subterranean explorers as well as make caving more accessible to those who otherwise would not get a chance to e. Our cave has been designed with a mining theme as a tribute to the local history of Birmingham and the Black Country and the many mining communities that helped to develop the region. So, make an early booking to discover the challenges of the artificial twists and turns and strewn boulders as well    as navigating the spider’s web and our deep ‘sump’ ball pit.


Safety is paramount at Woodlands and is never compromised. All our staff are trained to very high standards with regular in-house training and assessments by our independent technical advisor, as well  as attendance at activity specific training courses. Each member of the team is enhanced DBS checked, completes a child safety protection course and holds an outdoor first aid qualification. The activities and equipment are strictly monitored, inspected, and recorded as well as being inspected by external assessors from professional bodies. We also have a programme in place for replacements and upgrades. So, everyone is in very safe hands. We are proud to hold the following accreditations which are renewed every year: Adventuremark, British Canoeing Quality Mark, Learning Outside the Classroom, the Institute for Outdoor Learning and NICAS. We are also officiated members of the BAYC.


We have already been in touch with our customers, charity partners and suppliers to inform them of our new bank account. The decision to move from the HSBC to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) followed the closure of our local branch and a review of the available services provided by CAF Bank. Our new details are detailed on every invoice. Please do contact us and we will provide these details for you.


We are pleased to announce that the ovens in the kitchen will be replaced this winter by more efficient & reliable electric ovens. Funding is now in place, made possible with kind donations from various grant giving trusts. To be completed by January 2024 ready for the New Year! 


Outdoor learning has always been a priority here at Woodlands – after all, our full title is’ Woodlands Adventure and Outdoor Learning’! Many of our activities directly relate to schools’ curriculum –  Climbing, Abseiling, Canoeing, Kayaking, High Ropes, Archery, Nature trails, Bushcraft sessions, Pond dipping and much, much more. Our new Woodlands and Riverlands Explorer activities have been received well amongst our young visitors. They combine nature and orienteering skills using gps and radios in small groups which is perfect for encouraging team work, team bonding and communication skills, as well as providing enjoyment of being outdoors in a natural woodland environment, supporting well-being and mental health. For more information of how we can deliver activities to suit your curriculum needs, please do contact us and we will be happy to help tailor make a day to suit your needs during any season.

                     Bushcraft                                     Rafted canoe                                  Climbing                         Fire lighting


We are really pleased that 500 children have undertaken our Mini-Medics course over the last 4 months.  They have shown a real interest in learning lifesaving skills and increasing their ability to help  others in need of urgent help. Working in groups and with the latest junior mannequins, students learn about the recovery position and resuscitation as well as how to keep themselves safe and the importance of getting help from the emergency services. At the end of a successful session each participant receives a certificate and booklet. In addition, we are now offering a selection of certified professional First Aid courses for adults all led by fully qualified instructors. Please contact us for further details.


You will no doubt know that, as a charity, the Birmingham Boys & Girls Union (BBGU) is ultimately managed by a Council of Trustees all of whom are friendly, enthusiastic and committed volunteers, giving their time and skills freely to ensure that Woodlands is managed well and in accordance with all relevant regulations.  We will always welcome new Trustees, so do get in touch if you would like to  join us – especially if you have specific skills such as Human Resource Management, IT or marketing. We can guarantee that you would find that it is a rewarding and interesting experience.


The generosity of the Charitable Trusts who have funded vital items of equipment and those and have allocated unrestricted funds never fails to move us and we are so grateful to them and to the anonymous donors who we cannot thank personally. We really appreciate your support which is vital to our charity’s continued success. We would like to thank the following:              

Albright Grimley Charity. Baron Davenport’s Charity. Cole Charitable Trust. Dumbreck Charity. Edward & Dorothy Cadbury Trust. Fitton Trust. GJW Turner Trust. Grantham Yorke Trust. Knowle Male Voice Choir. Lillie C Johnson Charitable Trust. Lord Austin Trust. Mr G Breatnach. Mrs Winfield. Rebecca’s Trust. Richard Cadbury Charitable Trust. Roughley Trust. Sir John Sumner’s Trust. The 29th of May 1961 Charitable Trust. The Eric W. Vincent Trust Fund. The George Henry Collins Charity. The Goodenough Charitable Trust. The Grimmitt Trust. The Joan Lamb Charitable Trust. The Joseph Hopkins & Henry James Sayer Charity. The Loppylugs& Barbara Morrison Charitable Trust. The Measures Trust. The Norton Foundation. The Roger & Douglas Turner Charitable Trust. The Rowlands Trust. The Saintbury Trust. W.E.D Charitable Trust. Wilmcote Charitrust.