Diggers Forest School History

Diggers Club was founded in 2007 by Caroline Levitt and based at Steep Primary School near Petersfield which was attended by Caroline’s two youngest children at the time. As an afterschool club the focus was initially on gardening, cooking, woodland and generally having a great time outdoors. Caroline was encouraged to turn Diggers into a business in 2011 by Lou Romans the head teacher of Steep School. By the end of that first year Caroline had completed her Forest School Level 3 training plus 53 out of 85 children at the school were attending Diggers across four days. Such was the popularity of the club that there was a waiting list too. In 2012 Caroline expanded Diggers to include a further four schools in the Petersfield area. Again, the clubs proved so popular that second days and waiting lists quickly arose.

In the early hours of 10th September 2013 Caroline suffered a stroke. So serious was it that for five days we did not know if Caroline would live or die. As a temporary measure the business was closed down and then as Caroline showed signs of recovery, although still in hospital, Diggers was restarted. As a result of the stroke and all the rehabilitation that came with it, including a heart operation, Diggers like Caroline needed to adapt. We therefore decided to open a children’s nursery in South Harting. Initially there were just a handful of children attending each week. However, thanks to a huge amount of hard work and a well earned reputation Diggers nursery is now thriving and full of happy, well cared for children enjoying the most idyllic childhood in the heart of the South Downs.

Caroline is very proud of what she has created at Diggers and works hard with the team of staff to provide excellent childcare in a unique environment.