A popular outdoor education centre is temporarily closing to undergo a major refurbishment.

Suntrap Forest Education Centre on Church Road, High Beach, has received a £4.5 million investment from Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet to fund ‘unique educational opportunities’.

Work is scheduled to begin in July 2019 and completed by April 2020 which will include a new pavilion, 20 semi-permanent camping pods and full access for wheelchair users.

Kerry Rolison, head of Suntrap Forest Education Centre, said: “This is a golden opportunity for the team to share the Suntrap ethos of bringing nature nearer to people.

“We look forward to encouraging children and young people to discover and investigate the natural world”.

During the multimillion redevelopment, staff will continue to offer their expert skills into the community through ‘Suntrap on Tour’.

They will be visiting public events, community venues, green spaces and of course schools offering discounted two-hour nature workshops within the district and surrounding boroughs.

Also from September 2019 to April 2020 the education centre will run a free Discovering Epping Forest programme for secondary schools in Waltham Forest.

Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet member for children, young people and families, Councillor Grace Williams, said: “The investment is part of the Council’s commitment to improving the Life Chances of young people in the borough by providing opportunities for them to learn outside the traditional school environment as all the activities offered at Suntrap are linked to the National Curriculum and exam board specifications.”

Before construction commences, visitors can bid farewell to the ‘old Suntrap’ at the free Family Open Day on Saturday 29 June,11am to 3pm.

An art session with artist in residence, Emma Bond and a memorabilia auction including classic vintage Ladybird children's books about nature will be held on the day.

To register for Suntrap Forest Education Centre’s Open Day, register at https://ticketlab.co.uk/event/id/2548

Secondary teachers can find out more about ‘Suntrap on Tour’ by emailing Suntrap.centre@walthamforest.gov.uk