1. When will it take place?
1st -3rd of October 2021 at The Hill End Centre near Oxford. https://hill-end.org/
2. How much will it cost?
Camping tickets are £177; dormitory accommodation ranges from £195-£225. Check out the Hill End website for information on the dormitory accommodation (info only, bookings will NOT be via Hill End directly – see point 3. below). If you are local and don’t need to stay over, the cost is £150.
All ticket options include the full conference, entertainment and catering (see point 6. below).
3. When can I book?
Bookings will be administered through the FSA and will be available later in the summer (August). We will make sure that the ticket booking date is announced in advance via social media and the FSA website. Once tickets are live, we recommend that you book your ticket AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This is because, if we are forced to adopt a contingency plan and scale back the conference, tickets will be allocated by booking date, with the earliest booking first and rolling out until the maximum number we are allowed is reached.
4. What accommodation is available?
On-site there is tent camping in a dedicated camping field and dormitory accommodation.
Tents – please bring all your own camping equipment – please note that Hill End do not allow cooking at individual tents, so please do not bring cooking stoves. There will be full catering laid on for all delegates and tea/coffee stations around the site.
Hammocks -please be aware that we cannot guarantee that there are suitable sites to hammock – many of the wooded areas are being used during the day for workshops, so if you do put up a sleeping hammock you should be prepared to pack it away during the day to free up space.
Campervans – please note the camping field is not suitable for vehicles. There will only be a VERY LIMITED amount of space for campervans (3 max.) but these will be parked up in the car park and spaces are likely to only be offered to stallholders/workshop providers who need to transport equipment or supplies or people who have specific needs. Unfortunately, there is no provision for caravans or motorhomes.
Dormitory accommodation – please note that if you wish to be roomed with friends we suggest that you book together using the same form – we have been told that the booking system does not have a facility to request that you are roomed with/near friends so we cannot guarantee that this will be possible. There are disabled facilities available so please request these when booking if needed.
5. What will we do all weekend?
We are putting together a range of speakers and workshop presenters. These will be announced in the coming months. There will be a marketplace of stalls, there will crafts and a play zone. We hope to inspire you with new skills and inspirational workshops. There will also be entertainment in the evenings and, of course, it will be a chance to network and meet up with friends old and new.
6. What about food?
All ticket types will include catering, from Friday dinner through to Sunday lunch. Food will be vegetarian/vegan. There will be tea and coffee stations dotted around the site so bring a reusable cup. A bar will be open on Friday and Saturday night. Please note – there is no self-catering options at Hill End (Hill End do not allow cooking at individual tents, so please do not bring cooking stoves). Please do not bring any glass on-site.
7. How can I get to the conference?
We are based at an outdoor education centre and there is LIMITED parking on site (75 car spaces). One of the themes of the conference is sustainability, so we are keen for people to lift share or come by public transport if possible. We are working on plans with a local taxi company to provide a service to transport people from the local park and ride car park to the conference site. More info will be available as plans develop.
8. Can I bring my family?
No, we’re sorry but this will be a conference and not a family festival. It has been an uphill struggle to get this conference organised and so we have decided to make it about Forest School Leaders and Outdoor Educators reconnecting, networking and learning together. We hope that we can have the full 300 delegates as planned but have contingency plans in place incase we need to downsize and make it more COVID compliant.
9. Do you need to be a forest school leader to come?
No, you do not need to be a leader. If you have an interest in connecting people to nature then come along. It will be an inspiring weekend with speakers, workshops, skills sessions and lots of opportunities for networking with likeminded people.
10. What about COVID?
We are currently planning a conference for 300 people and much of the conference will be outdoors and in marquees. We have had to write a COVID-19 Entry Requirements and Behaviour Code. All attendees will need to demonstrate their Covid-19 status before entering by providing either:
- Proof of a negative lateral Flow test taken prior to travel on the day of arrival to the conference
- Proof of full vaccination- both doses received, with the 2nd being at least 14 days prior to conference
- Or both is even better! The full code will be available on the booking site for you to read before booking tickets.
- It is possible that government requirements may change in the autumn we may need to move to a contingency plan and scale back the conference. We will let everyone know about this ASAP if it is necessary.
11. Who is organising the conference?
The organising committee is a small group of working Forest School Leaders who are organising the conference in their spare time. We are members of the FSA network group for Oxon, Bucks and Berks. We are all volunteers so please be kind with your comments and be patient if waiting for someone to answer a query.
12. Can I volunteer?
Yes…please! Many hands make light work, so if you can offer a couple of hours or even more then please do get in touch!
If you have any other burning questions let us know and we will do our best to answer them.
Roll on October!