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Children from Aberfoyle Primary School headed up to Forestry Commission Scotland's Mini Lodge last week for some den building - and to try out the nature play features.
The P4 & P5 children helped construct part of the willow maze and tested the new climbing tree, which has been brought to the site from Braeval!
Mairi Buchanan for the Commission team that manages The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, said:
“They had a really good time and really got stuck into trying out the new nature play features. They especially enjoyed working with Angel, the horse that hauled the brash on to the site for maze building.
“We’re still putting the finishing touches to some of the features but children helped us out by ‘play testing’ them. Judging from their reactions the hammocks, Hobbit houses and tunnels - and the climbing tree – are all going to be a big hit. We’re also putting the finishing touches to the new water play area.
“Everything will be completed and ready to go soon – and when it is a visit to The Lodge, to do a little or do a lot, will be a must for children of all ages!”
The Commission’s team has developed the new range of natural play features to encourage young people in more imaginative play and to help them connect with and develop confidence in the natural environment. All of the new features have had design input from Playlink of Stirling and have been installed by Land Care Solutions.
“The play features will be ready in the next few weeks but until then we’ve got a Wild About the Forest event (Sat 4, and again on 25 May) where there’ll be a range of biodiversity themed activities that will be a great way to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland.
“There will be loads to do and we expect loads of people to pay us a visit and see how the new look forest visitor centre is beginning to shape up.”
As well as exploring the nature trails and complete the fun quiz while keeping a look out for squirrels, ospreys and other animals of the forest.
Other activities include a crafts marquee (£1per person), a walk and talk to learn about ‘natural navigation’ (£3per person) and a very special mini-bus trip to find and ring some owls. The owl ringing trip is £5per person and will run from noon-2pm. Booking is essential and anyone join this trip must dress for the weather and wear water proof footwear.
For more information on the activities or to book a place, phone The Mini Lodge on 01877 382258.
The Lodge will re-open in the summer and the Mini-Lodge will be in service until then throughout May and June (10am - 5pm) and July and August (10am – 6pm)
For more information about the refurbishment programme and to get an idea of what the made-over Lodge will look like, visit: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-8MYJA9
Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
2. For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests For Twitter www.twitter.com/dmlaberfoyle
3. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0131 314 6507