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Council secures £17,000 to help get us back to nature

South Ayrshire Council has received funding of just over £17,000 from Forestry Commission Scotland to deliver a program of activities at Belleisle Park in Ayr.

The funding will be used to deliver a woodlands winter activities project which aims to encourage more people to connect with nature and enjoy our forests.

There will be lots of tempting activities to get people involved including health walks, volunteering sessions, overnight yurt experiences, guided walks and an opportunity for community groups to take part in activities based in the yurt.

Some of the funding will be used to run ‘forest school’ and ‘woodland adventure’ sessions with local primary schools, encouraging children to get outdoors and learn new skills. Secondary schools will also get involved as they help to develop a woodland education area at Belleisle. Once complete it’s hoped this area will encourage visitors and the wider community to learn about the nature on their doorstep.

The woodlands winter activities project will culminate in a celebration on Saturday 10 March. Taking place at Belleisle, it will be an opportunity for everyone to gather together and look forward to spring. The event will feature a 'forest village' with live music and storytelling, there will also be woodland workshops and of course marshmallows!

Councillor Ian Cochrane, Sustainability and the Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “I welcome this funding, not only will it be used to bring us closer to nature but the associated activities are really good for our health and well-being too. We also know that when children develop a bond with nature they are more likely to take action on climate change and live environmentally conscious lifestyles as adults.”

“Getting children and young people involved is vital in terms of future conservation, recent studies show that a high percentage of children in Scotland are nature deficient, so I’m pleased that schools will play a key role. Our woodlands are great places to be throughout the year, so get out there and enjoy them.”

A spokesperson at Forestry Commission Scotland said: “Forestry Commission Scotland is pleased to be able to support this exciting project that encourages young people and the local community to learn the many benefits of visiting woodland as part of their daily lives”


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