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Horsham Rugby Club and Woods for Learning announce ambitious Outdoor Programme partnership

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Horsham Rugby Club and award-winning Marlow Sports and Woods for Learning CIC have announced an ambitious Outdoor Programme partnership. 

The Outdoor programme aims to inspire the community through previously unused woodland at Horsham Rugby Club.

Gary Marlow, who moved to Horsham in 2003 said, “I am so excited to be working with Horsham Rugby Club to utilise the stunning woodland, it’s quite poignant that it marks 20 years since I came to Horsham”.

“Since moving to Horsham I have always wanted to ensure that everything I do helps and supports the local community while inspiring children and adults to engage in physical activity through sports and outdoor activities and by running the new programmes and making this our new home at Horsham Rugby Club means this can be achieved even more”.

The site is a semi-ancient woodland; however, it has been relatively left alone and needs a little TLC to increase the biodiversity, enhance the ground by reducing litter and show how the woodland can be then used to educate and inspire people. We have already identified all the major trees and mapped them via What3Words, and put together a respectful plan on how to enhance the use which is where we will aim to engage the community to help. The main special launch event will take place during February half term on Thursday 16th 10-1pm, where children will have the chance to help us give the woodland a name – details to follow.

Horsham Rugby Club Chairman, Richard Ordidge said, “We are delighted to offer the use of our woodland to Woods for Learning. Gary is clearly passionate about encouraging and inspiring children through group working to achieve positive outdoor experiences and we are pleased to be able to make this happen.”

We aim to really capture the imagination and work with other organisations, and in 2023 at our new home we will be announcing some exciting new partnerships in the coming months as well as a range of community events.

Woods for Learning is a Community Interest Company, our motto is Take life back to nature, explore, discover, play, learn – Live, started in 2014 and was one the very first Forest School programmes in Horsham and surrounding area and is a multi-award-winning company. We have been using Leechpool and Owlbeech woods since that time and we will continue to use for local schools, however, it is a good time to explore a more protected area. Woods for Learning as a community interest company, profits are reinvested back into the community, for example, over Christmas we gave away around £4500 worth including wooden discs.

Marlow Sports was set up in 2010, last year won Global Outdoor Provider of the year Award and support many schools in development of PE and Outdoor learning, as well as Expeditions, we specialise in working with children and adult with additional needs and our motto is Active Inclusion.

Gary Marlow gives back to the community in volunteering many hours, such as a community first responder with South East Coast Ambulance and has been a governor for a local primary school.

By Gavin Hewins,

Published Feb. 12, 2023, 3 p.m.