A NURSERY that has rekindled the excitement of the ‘Famous Five’s’ adventures has won a prestigious national award.

Sandfield Natural Play Centre in Prescot, has been crowned National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Nursery of the Year 2011, an award voted for exclusively by parents.

Children at the nursery enjoy camp-fires, climbing trees, making mud pies and growing their own fruit and vegetables.

Suzanne Scott, nursery manager and owner, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled and so proud.

“It’s taken years, working with parents and our partners to develop this shared vision.

“We’re trying to give children what we think they deserve, what children had years ago before the world went mad with caution.”

Staff teamed up with the Mersey Forest and carried out research in Denmark and Scotland to develop their action packed outdoor learning programme.

Suzanne, added: “Health and safety is embedded our staff and we work very closely with 110 families.

“Food is at the centre of what we do.

“Our chef cooks all sorts of dishes with the children, including paella, kebabs, bread and barbecues at the camp fire.

“When children are here, it’s like going into another time zone, like the Famous Five books.

“You don’t need to buy the latest toys, just enjoy spending time together.”

The nursery was commended by parents for helping children to explore the world in a safe and secure environment.

One mum, said: “I tell my child he is going to nursery and a huge smile breaks out across his face. It’s an ideal setting for his adventurous streak.”

Children are now being tracked by the local authority to see how their experiences enhance their ability to learn.

Schools are already reporting that nursery pupils are well ahead in their development.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, chief executive of NDNA, said: “This nursery really stood out.

“Staff thoroughly engage with all the children and make attending this nursery a truly exciting experience.”