AN ‘outstanding’ outdoors nursery in Colchester has announced its closure, leaving parents who would "love to keep it open" devastated. 

The Essex Wildlife Nature Nursery, in Abbotts Hall Farm, Maldon Road, will shut its doors on March 8. 

The one-of-a-kind facility for children aged between two and five is inspired by a Scandinavian approach to early years education. 

The all-weather outdoor complex is set among 600 acres of countryside at the Essex Wildlife Trust headquarters and divided into different zones to provide a variety of learning experiences. 

In May last year it was rated ‘outstanding’ last May by education watchdog Ofsted. 


In a statement, the trust said: "It is with a heavy heart that we have announced the closure of our Nature Nursery.

"We set out to challenge the education system by providing a much-needed alternative to mainstream provision, reconnecting our young people with the natural world and developing a lifelong love of wildlife and a commitment to environmental stewardship.

"Unfortunately, there are insurmountable challenges that stand in our way. To continue to provide a safe environment for children, we would need to invest significant new funds into the site, as well as increase the size of the staff team.


"We would have liked to have provided advanced notice, but this is unfortunately not operationally possible.

"We appreciate that this is likely to be significantly disruptive to those attending the Nature Nursery, aside from the disappointment of the nursery’s closure.

Gazette: Closure - The Essex Wildlife Trust is closing its nature nursery in March

"We extend our sincerest apologies to those affected by this closure..

"We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the families, parents, and carers who have been our supporters.

"We believe in the vision for the Nature Nursery more than ever and hope that you will continue to support our work in outdoor learning."

The news of the closure has saddened parents whose children attend the nursery.

Joanna Dodd, from Colchester, said: “It is diabolical parents are left with such short notice. We were told by the nursery on Friday they will close. 

“It is an amazing place and when we found it we were extremely happy. Conventional schools are not nurturing enough, and we believe children should learn through play. 

“We were struggling to find anything that would compare to it here in the area and with every nursery place booked now we don’t know what to do. 

“We’d love to help keep it open.” 

According to Joanna, the bad weather has made it difficult to keep the grounds of the nursery habitable. 

“Some of the parents here are landscapers or have machinery, so we’d be more than happy to help with volunteering and fundraising to help lower the costs," she added.