We recently received funding from Youthlink Scotland as part of their COVID-19 Outdoor Education Recovery Fund. This will fund a partnership with Letham Primary School to support their P4-6 pupils in improving their health and wellbeing, especially coming out of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. The project involves 6 activity days at Lendrick Muir, where they will take part in structured play and outdoor activities, with some follow-up work within school with their class teachers.
We had the first of these activity days at Lendrick Muir on Friday 3rd September. The young people started their day taking part in an action-packed story time about John Muir, with the young people dressing up as characters in the story, becoming trees and providing sound effects. They then headed down to the woods to follow in John Muir’s footsteps and become explorers themselves. The two classes each set up their own space in the woods that they will come back to and develop over the next few months. They then explored the surrounding area, finding newts, tasting wild raspberries and wood sorrel, spotting all the different species of mushroom and enjoying playing in the mud! It was fantastic to see the young people exploring the outdoors and discovering new things, especially as many of the young people have spent a lot of the last year indoors, in a city environment. They had a lot of curiosity for the outdoor environment and are looking forward to coming back and exploring more of the site in different ways in their future visits.
Throughout the rest of the project, the young people will help to plan projects for their time at Lendrick Muir. Their ideas will help to engage them in nature-based learning through play and exploration and help them work towards their John Muir Awards and RSPB Wild Challenge Awards, whilst creating space for social interactions.
Even though we have only had one day with the young people so far, we have already started to see the impact this project will have on their relationships with one another and their appreciation for the outdoors. We are looking forward to seeing the plans the young people will come up with and how this project will impact not only the young people but also their teachers, parents and even our instructors here at the centre.
“10 out of 10 – the things I enjoyed most were the walk and the forest!” – Young person at the end of the first activity day at Lendrick Muir
“It was great to see the curiosity the young people had around the outdoor environment and seeing them really engage with nature – more than I had expected! It will be fantastic to see the impact the project has over the next couple of months.” – Lendrick Muir Instructor