Teaching children and young people to value wild places, and giving them the confidence to be outside safely, is wonderful for children and vital to ensuring land is cared for into the future. Borders Forest Trust has a long history of this work, from bringing Forest Schools to the Borders to greening school grounds to family fun days at local Community Woodlands.
With support from Scottish Natural Heritage we have developed an innovative programme of outdoor learning for young people at Corehead Farm and the Devil’s Beeftub. Our key children and youth projects there include:
This is for 10 to 18 year olds and offers the opportunity for young people to develop skills in practical conservation work, wildlife surveying, rural crafts such as green woodwork and bush craft. Junior Rangers commit to attend each month which has allowed a strong team ethos to develop, with Junior Rangers helping to decide what we do and lead some tasks themselves. We are working in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway Council to deliver this project.
This club offers nature activities in the school holidays to a range of age groups. From natural treasure trails, to pond dipping, potions and lotions and survival skills, all activities are designed to teach children about nature in a fun accessible and memorable way.
We have been working closely with local schools to provide opportunities for field studies and outdoor learning, including delivering the John Muir Award.
Universities and colleges such at Scottish Rural College and Glasgow University visit Corehead as part of their course and we are keen to work with students to develop research projects on site.