How to build the ultimate den!

Check out our top tips for the perfect summer holiday activity: Den Building!

Meet the expert...

Maddy the East Anglia den building expert!

Meet Maddy; she is 9 years old and, we think, the East Anglia den building expert!

What makes her an expert you say? Well, Maddy has years of experience as she demands that every time she goes for a walk in the woods, that her family help her build the best den yet! A fair request we think.

She has built dens all over East Anglia and loves to revisit her dens weeks or even months after the build to see if they withstand the test of Mother Nature.

The best den building sites...

How to build the ultimate den!

East Anglia has lots of places in Norfolk and Suffolk that are perfect for den building.

In Norfolk you have Felbrigg woodland, 1,760 acres of parkland and mixed woodland, full of brilliant den materials. Or try Holkham Estate with a sweeping park that surrounds the Hall and is home to a large herd of Fallow Deer and a small herd of Red Deer - there is also a free woodland play area with a tree house in the sky, high level walkways, rope ladders and zip-wire!

In Suffolk our favourite is by far High Lodge in Thetford Forest, where you can unwind with beautiful forest trails or try the excitement of the bike trails, Go Ape and adventure play!

How to build your den...

How to build the ultimate den!

Choose the perfect site

After a quick recce of the area choose the place you are going to build your den. Look out for small trees with low level branches you can use for supports to start the frame of your den.

Source your materials

At places like High Lodge, the forestry commission when looking after the woodland, leave suitable trimmed branches that are perfect for making the roof of your den. Look for any old logs that will make great tables and chairs too!

Start building!

Carefully place each piece of wood or branch up against the tree you have chosen, making sure it is secure and creates a space underneath. Gradually add more until you have something that looks like a great shelter! When you've finished you can add any cut branches with leaves that you can find for extra protection from the elements.

Test your new woodland dwelling

Don’t forget to clear the inside of any debris, then take a seat on your woodland furniture and admire your hard work!

More to explore at High Lodge...

High Lodge, Thetford Forest

High lodge has so much more than just great den building materials!

It is the place to be for outdoor adventure play. With the sound trail, climbing sculptures, sand play, slides, huge swings and den building to name a few....only your imagination is the limit. 

www.forestry.gov.uk/highlodge

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