Last weekend, we were invited to Into The Trees, which is a newly formed family festival based in Pippingford Park, Nutley, East Sussex. Celebrating it’s third year, the festival explores the great outdoors in the heart of Ashdown Forest.
I haven’t been to Ashdown Forest since I read Winnie The Pooh, so it was really exciting to finally visit it in person – and what a sight. With ancient forests and rolling hills covered in ferns it was easy to get involved with nature.
Into The Trees explores the ways in which we can play, work and live amongst the trees…
T has always been an explorer, with bugs being his favourite find next to leaves and acorns, and jumping in puddles being the ultimate game. Therefore, Into The Trees was the perfect find as the festival encouraged families to let loose and get back to nature with an array of activities to help.
During our visit, we went pond dipping with Sussex Wildlife Trust, explored the Woodland Tribe, and played with mud kitchens! We had a lot of fun and I imagine it’ll only get better the older T gets, as there were a few activities that T was probably too young for sadly.
The only trouble with taking a two year old was that once we’d finished pond dipping and playing in the mud kitchens, there wasn’t much left for him to do. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of things to see and do for the whole family, but for T alone there was maybe only a handful of things for him to properly partake in.
But nevertheless, there was a lot to do – from story telling to den building, archery to axe throwing, tree climbing to rope swings. For the more adventurous there was even the opportunity to go Mountain Boarding, but we were quite happy with Pond Dipping – especially as T managed to score a few newts!
Some activities had added costs to them such as the Mountain Boarding, however apart from the Mountain Boarding which cost £10 for a 45 minute session, most of the added extras such as the zip wires or the Woodland Tribe cost in the region of £2-£4 which you could purchase at the entrance in exchange for tokens.
We decided to take a picnic with us – which was actually really fun as we found a spot undercover (if that’s even possible in the woods), however that didn’t stop us getting involved with the local produce.
On site there was an array of locally sourced food; from Wild Sussex – the ultimate BBQ experience to the Pizza Wagon; who made and cooked pizzas in their very own stone oven made from a converted horse box! There were also sweet treats available; from Fresh Crepes to a vintage Ice Cream van!
On our way back to the car, we decided to stop and treat ourselves to tea and cake from The Grey Earl, which was this stunning vintage 1956 Citroen H Van that sold the most delicious tea, coffee, and cake! They even accepted card, which was a lifeline as I forgot to get cash out!
In addition to the array of activities and food, there’s also a chance to support local business and collect some craft. On site we saw folks pewter casting and knitting as well as learning about wood working (where you could also buy some gorgeous pieces) as well as finding out about herbal medicine.
We really enjoyed ourselves and will definitely return next year – hopefully armed with tokens for T to take part in some of the activities. T came home knackered from the festival – as did I – which resulted in a well deserved nap (for both of us) on the sofa before dinner!
If you’re at all into nature, exploring woods and forests, or simply getting out and about then this is the festival for you.
We were given a family ticket to Into The Trees in exchange for an honest review and social shares during our time at the festival, however as always all thoughts and opinions are our own.