Taking a walk on the wild side in Falkirk

Youngsters are having great fun
Youngsters are having great fun

If you go down to the woods today...don’t be surprised if you’re met by a team of tree climbers or Gruffalo hunters!

Events have so far been taking place in Callendar Park, and a partnership with the Helix will begin once it opens later month.

Education officer Jess Thomson said: “We provide outdoor education and outdoor learning for everyone from children to adults.

“Our events include everything from looking for mini beasts to outdoor survival and bush craft.

“From November we have a full programme for under fives - including Gruffalo Hunts and Welly Boot Walks.”

Jess established Into the Woods two years ago and received funding earlier this year which has allowed her to make it her full-time job. She is supported by one part timer, and a team of volunteers and sessional workers.

Once the Helix opens its gates, the public will be able to use the area to complete the John Muir Award through Under the trees.

John Muir was born in Dunbar but moved to America as a child. He was an explorer, geologist, botanist, farmer, writer and is remembered as a pioneer of modern conservation.
Jess said: “The John Muir award is a bit like Duke of Edinburgh. People can come along, explore and discover more about nature.

“There’s a lot of practical work involved, and people will have a recognised award at the end of it - it’s great for children but it’s also good for your CV and gives you something to build on.”

Jess believes that getting outside is important for children.

She added: “It is great for children to get the chance to climb trees and explore nature, which they might not normally get to do because of safety reasons.

“It’s not like school but they are still covering curriculum topics in a different environment.”

For more information, 
and for a list of forthcoming events, go to www.underthetrees.net.