THE TRANSFORMATIVE EFFECT OF THE WHIRLIGIG
Wild Rumpus CIC is a social enterprise which produces outdoor arts events regionally, nationally and internationally, immersing audiences in incredible stories and moments of wonder. Sarah Bird, director of Wild Rumpus comments about working from their woodland office.
We take people on creative adventures to change the way they look at the world around them, creating shared memories and building more confident, creative and cohesive individuals, families and communities. Our work is not only set in natural landscapes but celebrates and embraces them. It is only fitting therefore that this ethos is reflected in our everyday working environment.
The Wild Rumpus team works year round from one of the most amazing spaces - the Whirligig, a beautiful 4-acre woodland on the Rode Hall Estate in Cheshire. Being based in this incredible setting helps us to understand the profound importance of enjoying natural spaces and inspires us to respect and protect the woodland and our natural environment.
The Whirligig has developed slowly since we moved here in 2013 as we’ve gradually added more spaces and places, from Fleur, our converted horsebox and ‘head office’ to shepherd’s huts, vintage caravans, a roundhouse and a specially commissioned treehouse. There is also lots of lovely wilderness which inspires us as it changes through the seasons. It is a truly unique space and has been named one of the most inspirational workspaces in the north of England.
The creative environment at the Whirligig allows us to connect year round with our team and volunteers and collaborate closely with partner organisations, sponsors and funders. By rooting us to a location that embodies our values, we’re able to share our space to inspire others. Since it has been in use, many artists, performers and makers have benefited from these surroundings to explore the outdoor arts sector and participate in the events that we plan from our woodland home.
We are lucky to work in such an inspirational environment and have a wonderful partnership with the Wilbraham family that own the Rode Hall Estate.
Amanda Wilbraham comments: “We have a very harmonious relationship with Wild Rumpus and are delighted to see our woodlands being used in such a creative way by a social enterprise. The Whirligig is a magical place and we are thrilled that it inspires the Wild Rumpus team, their wider network and people coming to experience the outdoor arts events that take place here on the Rode Hall Estate.”
Wild Rumpus is one of the 50 groups participating in the Making Local Woods Work project. Sarah Bird, one of the organisation’s directors, comments: “We’ve loved being involved in Making Local Woods Work. It’s inspiring to be part of a network of woodland social enterprises in such diverse areas of work. Making Local Woods Work has been so flexible in the specialist support they provide, and specifically for us, the practical advice and assistance they offered to help us through a recent planning application.”