Cotton End Forest School

Sector: Education
Status: On site

We’re creating something very special at Cotton End. A flagship £9.5m project for Lungfish and Bedford Borough Council, it’s a beautiful, innovative forest school about to transform the way a community grows. We’ll be giving a tiny village school an incredible new home, creating 686 much-needed new school places and inspiring a generation to learn from the world around them.

About the project

From the start, Bedford Borough Council sought us out for this project and believed in our forest school concept. Together, we’ve taken the school on a hugely positive design journey, shaping the design around their ideas, creating something exceptional on a local authority budget in partnership with Willmott Dixon and Scape.

The existing school is squeezed into an old Victorian building, but on this brand new site, on the edge of a community forest, we’re carving out a new kind of learning environment. The children will learn inside and out, in specially designed meadow, market, riverbank and woodland pavilions, as well as a vast outdoor amphitheatre. We’ve also created cutting-edge teacher training facilities to help the school achieve landmark national support status. It’s a project that’s inspiring everyone involved – and the children can’t wait to move in.

“Cotton End is an amazingly exciting project and it’s been a privilege to work with Lungfish to take the school on this journey. I was keen for it to be a forest school – and to prove that even on a local authority budget, we can still design a beautiful teaching and learning space. Lungfish have enabled us to realise that dream. They’ve taken my vision and turned it into a reality.”
Fran Cox, Head of School Infrastructure and Partnerships - Bedford Borough Council