Boost for outdoor learning in Scotland

Outdoor & Woodland Learning Scotland (OWL Scotland), a new organisation dedicated to increasing the use of Scotland’s outdoor environments for learning, has been launched today.

OWL Scotland is supported by Forestry Commission Scotland and has evolved out the Forest Education Initiative which ran successfully for over 20 years and supported hundreds of projects throughout the country.

Launching OWL Scotland at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Outdoor & Woodland Learning manager Bonnie Maggio said:

“Scotland has an abundance of outdoor environments which are first class places for children to learn in.

“We shouldn’t always wrap our children in cotton wool but allow them to get active, get their hands dirty and learn about the environment in the great outdoors.

“Our playgrounds, towns, cities and parks can be used to actively engage our young people and make learning real.

“OWL Scotland operates through local groups who share skills, resources and networking opportunities, whilst being supported nationally by grants, advice and training.”

The objectives of OWL Scotland include:

• First Hand Learning experience - Increasing the use of the outdoors for learning – discovering, exploring and connecting to the natural world;
• Learning for Sustainability -Increasing opportunities to learn outdoors about the natural world and how it links to social and economic factors locally, nationally and globally;
• Knowledge, skills and understanding of outdoor environments - Increasing opportunities for adults to develop pedagogical skills for use in a range of outdoor environments to encourage depth, breadth and progression in learning; and
• Health and Wellbeing - Increasing understanding of the positive impacts of learning outdoors on health and wellbeing.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha FCS pàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba; a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìon, a' cumail smachd air, agus a' leudachadh choilltean gus buannachdan a choileanadh dha coimhearsnachdan, dhan eaconamaidh agus ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh sa ghnàth-shìde.
  3. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.