Award-winning outdoor nursery could close if bid to secure new site is refused
PUBLISHED: 16:24 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 27 March 2019
An award-winning outdoor nursery fears it will have to close one of its two sites if it is refused permission to move.
Dandelion’s Nursery currently runs two sites - a permanent location in Eaton Vale and a temporary one based at Marsham Primary School.
However, with uncertainty around the site at Marsham, owners have set their sights on a new location at Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham.
They have applied to Broadland District Council for permission to change to use of the woodland site which, if successful, would see them permanently relocate from Marsham.
However, if this permission is not granted, the nursery fears the Marsham site would have to close - which would see the loss of seven full time jobs and 25 nursery places.
Emma Harwood, one of the Dandelion Education founders, said: “The new site would give us such security which, currently, we do not have.
“Marsham is such a lovely school but we can only use it on a year-by-year basis, which isn’t particularly sustainable.”
The new location, if approved, is on land connected to Woodgate Nursery, which Dandelion Education would be able to secure a permanent lease for. “We would love to be in place by after the Easter break,” she added. “The main thing for us is the security, but the new site has lots of other benefits too. It is in a woodland area and is very natural, which is extremely important for our ethos and what we do.
“We would also love to be a part of the Aylsham community.”
The nursery has been preparing its pupils for a possible move through philosophy sessions, designed to make it a smooth transition for the youngsters in their care.
Ms Harwood added: “Lots of parents have already offered to help us build tree houses and similar things if we get permission and have been really enthusiastic about the idea.”
The application states the new site would feature no permanent structures, with a mixture of sheds and yurts making up the nursery - alongside the outdoor space itself.