Outdoor educators scoop Moorlands business prize

Mark Brammar News

A brand-new competition for start-up entrepreneurs in Staffordshire Moorlands has been won by a new business providing outdoor educational experiences for nursery children.

The annual Dyer’s Den competition, which launched this year, rewards a deserving business or entrepreneur with a prize worth £5000 in cash and business services.

The 2019 winners are Flying High Outdoor Nursery. The business has been set up by child minders Kirsty Nelson and Debbie Wood.

Its aim is to introduce pre-school children to the outdoors through play-based activities through the Forest School model. Forest Schools are nature-based communities where trained practitioners provide learner led exploration and discovery, nurturing meaningful experiences for positive lifelong impacts.

Debbie said: “We provide a safe environment where the children are able to use the environment to discover new experiences and to develop self-esteem and confidence.

“Flying high Nursery will be setting up as a forest school nursery at RSPB Coombes Valley nature reserve on a trial basis this Easter. If it goes well, we will apply for planning permission for a permanent forest school nursery.”

Dyer’s Den is the idea of Jed Eatough, director of Leek based LSGK Accountants Ltd and is supported by partners Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Staffordshire Moorlands Chamber of Commerce, Tinsdills Solicitors and Yellow Circle Web Solutions.

The prize is made up of £750 in cash, mentoring, legal help and advice, membership of the Chamber of Commerce and a social media support campaign. There will also be a £250 cash prize for the runner up. The cash element of the prizes was provided by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.

The 2019 runner up was Leek based cake and confectionery business, Scrumbles.

Jed Eatough said: “Staffordshire Moorlands has a great reputation for entrepreneurship and business support. We had some fantastic entries and it was a tough decision to come up with a winner. However, Kirsty and Debbie’s enthusiasm and robust business model helped them to emerge as winners.”

“I’m really grateful to the partner organisations who have supported Dyer’s Den in year one and I’m already looking forward to next year’s competition.”

Photo: Kirsty Nelson and Debbie Wood, third and fourth left with Dyer’s Den judges: Helen Pakpahan from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Kate Hewitt from Yellow Circle, Rebecca Gwynn from Tinsdills Solicitors and Jed Eatough.