Let’s build a den

Suitable for:0 to 5, 6 to 10

Building a den is something everyone should try! It’s a fun way to spend time outdoors and get to know your local woods.

Let your imagination run wild

In the past, the woodlands in Sheffield were places that people lived and worked. Imagine your den is part of an adventure story. You and your friends could play different characters. Who will you pretend to be? 

Be bug hunters

Woods are the best places to find bugs and creepy crawlies you might not see in your garden at home. See how many types of bug you can find. Are there any in your den?

Show everyone a picture of your den using #sheffieldwoods and #sheffielddens

The easiest way to build a den is out of sticks. Gather fallen branches and lean them against a big tree to create your den. You could also use an old blanket or mat to cover the sticks and keep the wind and rain out. Some string or rope might come in handy. Make sure you have a grown up with you to help with anything tricky! Here’s a handy guide from the Woodland Trust on building dens.

Where will you build your den? Visit Sheffield Council’s website to find out more about our city’s woodlands. And download these seasonal guides by Sheffield design agency, Eleven for what to look for in Ecclesall Woods, Sheffield’s largest ancient woodland.


If you’d like to try this as a group activity – with your class or on a day out with friends – there are professionals who teach den-building and other outdoor skills at locations around the city. Visit Wild Sheffield for more info.