Woodland Tribe is the kind of activity every child should have access too wherever they live or play. It integrates important philosophies that can enhance a child's physical, spiritual and social understanding and development. They learn crucial life skills such as: risk taking, independent thinking, and using creativity to overcome challenges. Most importantly it connects a child with the wonderful uncertainty of nature, giving them a break from our increasingly digital, sterile, risk free and virtual lives. Tom and his team are an essential addition to any child centred or family event!
Sidharth Sharma Shambala Festival Creative Director
A pound deposit for your tools and the sky¹s the limit in Woodland Tribe's giant building world at Camp Bestival. Practical play for all ages with spectacular results, an absolute pleasure to watch the adventure playground evolve over the weekend.
Kirsty Henderson - Arts Producer, Camp Bestival.
Tom and his Woodland Tribe truly are the wonderful wizards of play and an integral part of the Starry Skies philosophy. The concoction of boundless imagination, expert knowledge and practical hands on skill, makes for an incredible wild woodland experience. Children and adults alike can design, build, create and revel in the joy of nature - learning together in the great outdoors.
Leah Dermody - Event Coordinator Starry Skies
I've been working with Tom Williams in the 'play' world for over 15 years on adventure playgrounds and putting on large scale play events like Bristol's Play Day, and Bristol Harbour Festival, and now working with his new team with Woodland Tribe. I've always been impressed with Tom's passion and dedication to children’s play, and especially to adventure play. He's a pleasure to work with, focussed, reliable, with an attention to detail, and always wanting to make the most of opportunities and peoples potential. He brings a sense of fun and adventure to his working practice, which is inspiring and motivating for others. One of his best strengths is heading up projects and leading a team, which really shows his ability to manage people and logistics, while creating and building a bigger picture. I'd thoroughly recommend him for any projects, from a hands on community play project, right through to academic research and strategic leadership. His depth of experience, level of knowledge and understanding, and sheer passion for play put him in a select group of experts in the field.
Gary Thomas - Filmmaker and Educator
Woodland Tribe are a not-for-profit CiC promoting adventure play in the UK to 1000’s of children and families. Selling out UK festivals and capturing the public’s imagination with a unique approach to children’s agency and co-production. Taking the best ideas from adventure playgrounds in Denmark/Germany/Japan/UK Woodland Tribe are revolutionising playtime, giving children and families hammers, saws, nails etc. and a huge quantity of wood to build the play space of their dreams.
Woodland Tribe are an experienced collective of creatives and animateurs including; artists, playworkers, film makers, teachers, carpenters and social workers. Woodland Tribe are the market leaders in their field.
Originally commissioned by Shambala festival in 2014 Woodland Tribe’s reputation and popularity has grown year-on-year, in 2017 or portfolio included; a month long residency at Brighton Fringe, a five day residency at the Edinburgh Festival, permanent spaces developed over four years at Shambala and Starry Skies, a sold-out area for the third year running at Camp Bestival, a national conference in Bristol focusing on the adventure playground movement, ongoing work with schools and communities in Bristol, London, Brighton, Folkstone, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Sussex.
These events have always had the Woodland Tribe emphasis on constructive play, children and adults assisted by Woodland Tribe have used tools and wood to create extraordinary structures and amazing spaces. These co-created environments are non-permanent, full of uncertainty and possibility, always playful, organically changing moment to moment, day to day.
Woodland Tribe’s Founder Tom Williams who has been at the forefront of the adventure playground movement for over 30 years as a playworker, local authority officer, academic and event organiser.
Tom has played on, worked on and managed many adventure playgrounds for 40 years. He has recently completed an MA studying adventure playground’s in Copenhagen, Berlin and across the UK. He understands their ethos, how they work well, how they should be staffed, H&S and risk\benefit and most importantly the common pitfalls that should be avoided.Woodland Tribe is a unique environment in a world where children's access to nature and freedom to play is increasingly denied or controlled. To set up and run an area like Woodland Tribe, to create a buzzy free play construction environment without children getting hurt or upset, takes an immense amount of planning, skill, knowledge and experience.