Children in East Dunbartonshire to gain outdoor learning experience

Young children in East Dunbartonshire are set to benefit from a unique outdoor learning programme after Forest Kindergarten training was delivered to a number of early years practitioners by Forestry Commission Scotland.

Forest Kindergarten was launched by Forestry Commission Scotland in 2012 and aims to promote the use of woodlands as a learning environment.  It offers young children frequent play in woodland or other natural settings throughout the year in almost all weathers. 

The programme involves a range of activities, including exploring for bugs, tracking animals, building dens, arts and crafts and learning about the dangers and risks to look out for in a woodland setting.

A number of East Dunbartonshire Council nurseries will deliver the Forest Kindergarten programme after 23 early years practitioners completed the training course to enable them to roll out the programme.

The Commission’s three-day course, ‘Forest Kindergarten: A Natural Approach to Learning’ is a practical, experiential and hands-on programme, which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of early years practitioners.  It equips them with the knowledge, understanding and skills to confidently support children to learn through play during their Forest Kindergarten sessions in a local woodland or greenspace area within walking distance of the nursery and other outdoor areas.   

Sarah Archer, Education Officer at Forestry Commission Scotland said:

“Recent research has shown that being outdoors in nature is good for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.  For young people, learning outdoors provides a range of development benefits, including better concentration, better communication skills, greater stamina, improved balance and coordination, increased confidence and appreciation and understanding of nature.

“We’re delighted that East Dunbartonshire Council has invested in our Forest Kindergarten training, meaning more children and young people will benefit from the unique experience of outdoor learning.  Our training course is bespoke and structured to provide practitioners with skills and guidance to help deliver a comprehensive approach to outdoor learning within the early years.”

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4. 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.