Sinai Park Forest School

by Laura Wigg-Bailey in Burton On Trent, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 13th May 2021 we successfully raised £4,640 ( + est. £286.25 Gift Aid ) with 45 supporters in 39 days

To construct a forest school on the site of Burton's oldest building, creating a unique outdoor learning environment for local children.

by Laura Wigg-Bailey in Burton On Trent, England, United Kingdom

The Story of Sinai Park House

Sinai Park House Trust works to conserve Burton's oldest building, a Grade II* listed medieval manor surrounded by a historic landscape including a scheduled ancient monument, the 12th century moat. Our vision is to restore Sinai to a site of rest and inspiration through our outdoor learning programme, combining the heritage of this ancient site with an educational programme for local children, including the construction of a forest school. Sinai has a rich and fascinating history, including evidence of the presence of Roman usage and that of the Paget family (owners 1546-1918), Georgian landscaping, such as the plunge pool and bridge dating from the 1730s that make the site so beautiful and tranquil. The house's origins date from Sinai's use from the 1200s as a wellness retreat for the monks of Burton Abbey, giving it an extensive and varied story that go back eight centuries. Today, the house is in a perilous state, while the grounds, including a medieval moat have succumbed to dereliction over the past century.

Where we are now

Though restoration works have begun, this is a massive task that necessitates a modern use to ensure a viable future for the building: we are using this opportunity to construct a much-needed forest school within the grounds, that border the National Forest, for the benefit of local children. This will provide pupils with all the benefits of outdoor learning - including proven improvements in team skills, focus and attitude to learning - as well as encouraging involvement with a nationally important heritage asset and the opportunity to learn about historical skills and practices that this facilitates. In doing so we hope to improve the prospects of local children, many of whom are from deprived backgrounds, and boost engagement in the heritage industry, with the stunning Sinai Park House as the vehicle for success.

The forest school will cater for all those who wish to benefit, from school groups, to SEN children and adult learners interested in learning new skills. Together with a network of volunteers and Friends, we are working towards this end, yet we also heavily rely on public donations. We need your support in restoring this site and ensuring a positive future for Sinai, including a unique new forest school for the community.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

7 of 50 claimed

Wellbeing Weekend Pass

On this weekend in June 2021 (date tbc) soon we will be trialling a number of well-being workshops and alternative therapies such as Yoga, Forest Bathing, Art Therapy, Reiki and Reflexology. Your free pass will enable you to attend for one whole day (10-4pm) and attend as many sessions as time permits. This is a very exclusive reward as we are just running this as a pilot and don't want to overstretch ourselves. We hope to see you there!

£5 or more

£5 Reward

An information guide detailing the rich history of Sinai and a stylish artistic print of Burton's oldest building for your wall.

£10 or more

4 of 99 claimed

£10 Reward

Ticket to the premier of our virtual history tour, 'The 1,000 Year Walk', on Saturday 1st May with live interview with the makers of the tour and an opportunity to ask questions. This tour takes you from the last remains of the once great Burton Monastery through the town and up into the ancient forest of Oak Wood.

£10 or more

6 of 100 claimed

Family Fun Outdoor Learning Weekend

On this weekend in July 2021 (date tbc) soon we will be trialling a number of our Forest School and Outdoor Learning sessions including Den building, Habitat building, Mindfulness, and Archery. Your free pass will enable you and your child to attend for one whole day (10-4pm) and attend as many sessions as time permits. This is a very exclusive reward however if you have more than one child it may be possible to buy extra passes on the day.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Spend the afternoon at Sinai as a £20 donation gives you two free tickets for a guided tour of this historic site, exploring the history of its Norman origins to the eccentricity of the Marquess of Anglesey and everything in between, finished off with delicious cream teas for two...but will it be cream first or jam?!

£100 or more

£100 Reward

This wins you and a group (size according to Covid regulations) a tour of Sinai Park House and its grounds, exploring its time as a medieval bloodletting retreat to a Georgian hunting lodge, topped off with delicious cream teas.

£250 or more

£250 Reward

An overnight stay for two in the incredible guest suite at Sinai, with bed & breakfast accommodation. This is a stay like no other, in a medieval lodge that has accommodated all from medieval monks to Georgian nobility.

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