Our first AGM as a charity took place last month. We were pleased to be able to celebrate lots of successes, and to discuss plans for the year ahead, in a wide-ranging meeting. You can read about some of our work in the Year in the Park document YitP 2019

Woods for Wellbeing Winter sessions

Escape from the stress of life and take some time to unwind and connect with nature. Join us for ‘Woods for Wellbeing’ sessions in the beautiful setting of Rowntree Park’s woods.  The next sessions now available to book are:

Friday 22nd of November 2019  – 12.30-2pm

Saturday 14th of December 2019  – 10.30-12pm   


Join us a learn a new skill and craft at your own pace. There will definitely be some Autumnal and festive needle felting involved in these sessions. Other sessions may include one or some of the following – whittling, willow weaving, basic bushcrafts and a campfire fire.

The session will allow time for you to learn new crafts, connect with the natural environment and to feel more comfortable enjoying time in the woods.  Also the opportunity to meet like-minded people, or opt to spend time by yourself.

Take some breathing space, connect with nature and learn new skills, and return home feeling refreshed and replenished.

Sessions are designed for women, and those who identify as women, aged 16 upwards. We also welcome non-binary individuals who would enjoy the support of a women’s group.

Our sessions are run by our volunteer Christine, who describes herself as a ‘hobbycrafter’ and is also forest school trained.  The cost of the session a £12 for members and £15 for non-member, and includes a hot drink made outside in the woods.  Any profit goes back into our volunteer work in the park.

If you are not already a member – you can join for just £5 a year.  As as well as helping our work in the park, you also get a discount to our events and 10% off in the cafe all year.


For further details and to book your place, follow the link here:

Fri 22nd November 


Members ticket


Fri 22nd November 


Non Members Ticket


Sat 14th December


Members ticket


Sat 14th December


Non Members Ticket



Any questions then drop Abigail a line at membership@rowntreepark.org.uk

You do not need to have attended a previous session to book onto a session.  Previous attendees are very welcome as each session has a different theme – it would be great to see some familiar faces as well as new people.

The Friends of Rowntree Park are a group of volunteers who look after the park and provide events for the community.  We are all volunteers and care about our park and community. We welcome feedback on all our events to help us to improve and continue to meet your needs.


Festive Forest School Big Kids

Join us for  a ‘festive-themed’ Saturday Forest school/bushcraft session aimed at children aged 6 and over.

Saturday  14th of December 1-2.30pm

We’re getting festive for our December ‘Big Kids’ forest school.  This month we’re using green woodcraft skills to make mini reindeer and Christmas decorations.  There will be sawing, hammering and hand drilling all followed by a roasting fire (which the kids will start) for hot chocolate and marshmallows.

The sessions will take a Forest School approach. Forest School is more than just sessions outdoors – it is a specialised approach that is learner-centred and aims to promote the holistic development of the child. Through hands-on practical learning, Forest School fosters resilience, confidence, self-esteem, independence and creativity and encourages- children to take risks within a supportive learning environment set in nature.

The sessions are run by our forest school trained volunteer Christine. All very reasonably priced for experiences that are utterly priceless! All profit goes back into our volunteer work in maintaining and improving the park too!


Saturday 14th of December 1-2.30pm and is only £6 for members and £7 for non-members.

Not a member? You can join for just £5 a year. Not only would you be helping our volunteer work in the park, but you also get a discount to all our events and 10% off in the cafe for the year. Join before booking your place – it comes straight through, so you can then go ahead and buy a member’s place!


Places are strictly limited, so book your place using the link below:

Members ticket (£6) SOLD OUT
Non Members Ticket (£7) SOLD OUT

We run sessions monthly so 2020 sessions will be released in December. We try to advertise via the membership newsletter and website, followed a week later by facebook and posters.

Important info

Tickets are non-refundable but you are welcome to sell your ticket if you get the buyer to contact us. If the event cannot go ahead for any reason, we are happy to refund ticket prices.

There is no physical ticket – Paypal confirms and we will send you an email within a week of payment. Any questions then please email – (abigail at membership@rowntreepark.org.uk)

The sessions are aimed at children 6+ and they should be accompanied by an adult. No adult ticket is needed.   Your child is welcome to come with another adult who has other children at the event.  If you need to bring a younger sibling along, just let us know.  They are welcome to come but will not be able to use the resources.  If you’d like them to use resources, then please buy them a ticket (age 2-5). They would need to remain under your strict supervision as we aim our sessions at older children.

Please dress appropriately for the weather.  We do have forms of shelter if raining – plus it’s more fun!


Forest School Sessions – 2-5 year olds

Booking is now open for our second set of Forest School sessions aimed at 2-5 year olds in Rowntree Park.

Friday 8th of November to Friday 13th of December 2019 10am-11.30am

Places are strictly limited and must be booked in advance – see below

Fores School Rowntree park 003

Magical moments being nurtured in nature

It is so important for children, and adults, to spend time outdoors in nature. Forest school is more than just sessions outdoors.  It is a specialised approach that is learner centred and aims to promote the holistic development of the child.  Through hands-on practical learning, Forest school fosters resilience, confidence, self-esteem, independence and creativity and encourages children to take risks within a supportive learning environment set in nature.

Sessions will include: Den building, foraging, campfire cooking, mini-beast hunts, fire lighting, woodland crafts, storytelling and natural paint making and more – all run by  Christine, our Very Young Friends group leader, who has taken her official training to be able to offer these amazing sessions that are exceptional value for money.

Child-led learning and exploration

Rowntree Park Forest School will be themed around a nature topic but essentially child-led so they will evolve naturally according to individual children’s interests and abilities.  There will be lots of time for free play and exploration of the individual’s interests as well as focused activities.

Time to develop, connect and grow

Forest School’s ethos recommends a range of continuous sessions rather than one-off ad hoc sessions, therefore we are offering a six-week course aimed at preschoolers (2-5 year olds).  Homeschoolers are also welcome.

The six-week block begins on Friday 8th November and the last session is Friday 13th December.  Each session runs from 10am-11.30am

Due to the nature of the activities, places are strictly limited and must be booked in advance. Parents stay and engage with their children and learning at the sessions – fun, relaxing, mindfulness for all!

Members – £36 Non Members – £42
Forest School 6 week sessions – starting Friday 8th of November BUY BUY

Save money on the sessions AND help your local park?

You can become a member of Friends of Rowntree Park for just £5 a year per household.  For this, you get discounts at our events, monthly newsletters, 10% off in the cafe for the year whilst helping support our volunteer work in maintaining and improving Rowntree Park.  You can join here:


If you would like further details about membership or Forest School sessions, then please get in contact with Abigail at membership@rowntreepark.org.uk


Paid work available!

Wanted: freelance consultant to set up volunteer management systems for us

We’re a busy charity, looking after the welfare of the park and its users. Traditionally the Friends offered a range of family-friendly events, and also acted as a representative body, for the council and other bodies. However, increasingly we’re taking on additional activities and projects which use volunteers to maintain and enhance the physical environment (further information about the Friends’ work is available on this website and on social media). It’s clear that we now need help to set up systems to manage our existing volunteer group, and to establish recruitment systems for new volunteers.

Could you be the person who could do this for us? You’ll work with the trustees and committee, and meet with various key volunteers, to understand our aims and plans. Amongst other tasks, we’ll need a suitable database for volunteer details, and systems to monitor and evaluate our work. Experience in the voluntary sector is essential. It is likely that the work will require up to 16 hours a week for three months during the initial set-up, and then up to 8 hours a week for a further three months, whilst systems are bedding in. Hours of work will be largely flexible, with a few required evening meetings. This is a self-employed/freelance contract. The hourly rate is £11ph. Further details from info@rowntreepark.org.uk.

Application is by CV and a covering letter (totalling 4 pages or less, please) by email to: info@rowntreepark.org.uk by noon, on 7th October, 2019. Interviews will be in late October. Starting date to be confirmed.



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Christmas Crafts – Children’s Event

Join us to make natural Christmas decorations and generally get into the mood for Christmas!

Saturday 30th of November 10am or 10.30am start times (end by 12pm)

For children age 2-15

(Little ones will need a lot more parent/carer help)

We will be crafting on the cafe balcony this year!  Wrap up warm, get a hot chocolate from the cafe and craft until your heart is full of Christmas cheer!  Using natural materials gathered from the park and surrounding areas, you can create a range of decorations or mini wreaths.  We provide the resources/examples and you can create at your own speed.  A lovely, relaxing activity where you can learn new skills.

Tickets  – £3 Members/£4 Non-members

10am -Member Buy
10am – Non Member Buy
10.30am – Member Buy
10.30am – Non Member Buy


General Info

All money raised goes back into our volunteer work in the park.

Children remain the responsibility of their parents/carers.  Older children may be left if parents deem this appropriate.

Parents do not need a ticket, but if you do get tempted to make your own decorations (and some do), a small donation is appreciated!

Tickets cannot be refunded, but you are welcome to sell tickets on.

In case of adverse weather (park flooding very badly/torrential rain) the event may be cancelled and all money would be refunded.

This event is run by the Friends of Rowntree Park.  The cafe has agreed for us to use the venue but they are not responsible for the event and all questions should go to Abigail at membership@rowntreepark.org.uk



Christmas Wreath Making

Get festive with the Friends! Join us for our annual Christmas Wreath Making session on Saturday 7th of December.
You can choose to start at 10am or 11am.  It generally takes an hour or a bit longer, but stay as long as you like!
This popular event is back!  We will be based on the balcony of the Reading Cafe in Rowntree Park.  Grab and coffee and get creative!  There will be wreath frames made from willow for you to use and lots of natural decorations collected from York’s parks and open spaces for you to add – really make your door stand out this Christmas!

This event is most suited to adults and teens, but some children have found they have the concentration and skills, so they are most welcome.

It is ONLY £7.50 per wreath for non-members and £6 for those who are Friends of Rowntree Park members. 

Members are offered priority booking for all our events and have the opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. If you’d like to purchase a ticket at members prices or find out about events first, you can join the Friends for just £5 a year.

Membership also gives you discount entry to events through the year, you also get 10% off in the cafe all year and monthly newsletters.  Best of all, you know your money is helping our volunteers maintain and improve the park for the community. The link for joining is below or you can pick up a leaflet in the cafe.

To buy your ticket, click on the links.  One ticket is needed for each wreath to be made.
Wreath Making 10am SOLD OUT SOLD OUT
Wreath Making 11am SOLD OUT SOLD OUT


Any questions, then do get in touch via membership@rowntreepark.org.uk

Important info

There is no physical ticket. Once you have paid via Paypal, you get a Paypal receipt and we get your names and the number of tickets you purchased.

Members discounts are available to members and their immediate household.  We are a small charity and we run events like these as we enjoy them but also want to raise money for our volunteer work in the park.  Your membership money is a big part of this.

In light of this, please can we ask you not to buy tickets for Non-Members at ‘members prices’.  We offer members discounts as a thank you to members and an incentive to others to join.

Tickets cannot be refunded unless the event is cancelled (full refunds would be given in this unlikely situation). If you can no longer attend, you are welcome to pass your ticket to another (let us know their name) or let us know ad we can try and sell your ticket for you.
We provide the materials, tools and wreath examples – but other than that it is down to you to create your masterpiece.  Our volunteers, Christine and Ruth will be on hand to help.