Find out how Tywardreath resident Denise Taylor is growing her forest school business with help from the village shop.

unnamedCASE STUDY: Denise Taylor, Monkey Puzzle Meadow, Tywardreath.

Free business support from Trudy and Josh at Tywardreath Village shop has enabled this local forest school practitioner to connect more kids to the countryside.

As a child growing up in Cornwall, Denise was always outside making the most of her surroundings.

“We’d be playing in the woods, or off on our bikes and climbing trees – it was second nature to us,” she says.  “Now the playgrounds are housing estates, traffic is heavier and the media propagates fear.”

It was these changes that inspired this local mum with a background working with socially excluded people, to study for a degree in countryside management in a bid to help more people keep connected to the great outdoors.

“It’s my belief that we should all be able to access the natural environment and the benefits this brings,” she explains.

“I’m also a big believer in people of all ages and abilities doing what they can for themselves and taking risks to enable this.”

After meeting Trudy Thompson and Josh Taylor socially in the village, Denise asked them for advice about setting up a forest school business and how to apply for grants.

“They signposted me to funders, supported my application and provided advice whenever I needed it.

“Trudy and Josh are very visible and so approachable, especially now they own the village shop. Just recently I popped into Tywardreath Village Shop to ask them something.  They never make you feel as if they are too busy or that your questions are not important.”

Thanks to the funding she has received, Denise was able to procure her own equipment to support her summer work as a freelance forest school practitioner ahead of setting up Monkey Puzzle Meadow in Tywardreath.

“Providing my own kit enabled me to provide a more professional service and made me feel more confident about my skills.

“I’m now busy turning my garden into an outdoor space that can be accessed by people from all backgrounds.

“I’m looking forward to it!”

To find out more about Monkey Puzzle Meadow email Denise Taylor at

Interview by Sharon Barnard, freelance writer, Tywardreath – December 2016

If you live in or near Tywardreath, Cornwall visit the village shop to connect with a hub of local people who run their own business and get practical advice on starting and growing your own micro venture in the local area.

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