Deaf families encouraged to experience the outdoors

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16 JULY 2013NEWS RELEASE No: 15998

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Forestry Commission Scotland is holding forestry art and craft sessions for deaf families, encouraging them to visit their local woodlands and learn about local wildlife.

After being inspired by a similar project in Edinburgh, Deaf Connections partnered with the Commission to hold the sessions for deaf families in the West of Scotland.

The project will take place at Mugdock Park in Milngavie and will involve a group of around 20 individuals and families who are either deaf themselves or have a deaf family member. The families will take part in art, craft and bushcraft activities as well as learning about nature.

There are two sessions running on 18th and 25th July and two further sessions in Autumn.

Romena Huq, engagement officer with Forestry Commission Scotland said: “This project is all about encouraging the deaf community in central Scotland to engage with their local woodlands.

“Woodland areas can often feel off-limits to people with disabilities but this is absolutely not the case – with some careful encouragement, deaf children and families can receive huge benefits and enjoyment out of being in the woods.”

Paul McCusker from Deaf Connections, the oldest charity for deaf adults in the world, added: “We heard about Forestry Commission Scotland’s previous project to increase woodland accessibility for deaf people at a Sense Scotland event some time ago, and after talking to some of our members and family groups we realised how popular the concept could be in our deaf community. We were really keen to bring it to Glasgow and with our long established links with deaf organisations in the West of Scotland we have had huge interest.

“We’re really excited about the sessions starting and hope we can achieve our aim of making woodland knowledge and Forestry Commission services more accessible to deaf people.”

The sessions will include arts, craft and bush craft, learning about the woodlands and nature. Later sessions hope to teach participants about planting seeds and growing wild herbs.

Notes to Editors

1.   The walled garden where the instillation will be displayed was built by The City of Edinburgh Council Natural Heritage Service with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish National Heritage.

2.    Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate

3.    For news, events and recreation information log on to or

4.    The FCS agobair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridhcoilltearachdRiaghaltasna h-Alba agus a’ riaghladhnan 660,000 heactaireanann an OighreachdnaCoilleNàiseanta, a’ dìonadh, a’ cumailsmachd air agus a’ leudachadhnancoillteangusbuannachdan a thoirtdhacoimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidhagus, agobair an aghaidhatharrachadhgnàth-shìde.

5.    Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.