Category Archives: Forest Kindergarten

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

Echoes Ecology have now completed their PEA of our proposed site in Gillies Hill Community Woodland. Their executive summary records “There was no field evidence of protected species found during the survey. There is suitable habitat for nesting birds and commuting and foraging for bats. If proposed works are to be undertaken during the breeding bird season (March to September inclusive), then any areas of the Site that need to be cleared of vegetation must be shown to be free of nesting birds prior to works commencing. There are no other recommended surveys.”

Echoes Ecology report lists several species from the Scottish Biodiversity List which may be present in the woodland – these include bats, toads, hedgehogs, red squirrels and native bluebells. We have seen lots of bluebells this spring, we regularly see toads and have once spotted a red squirrel. We need to keep our eyes peeled for the rest!

April Volunteer Day @ the Walled Garden

We were pleased to join with so many people at the mid month volunteer session in the Walled Garden at Gillies Hill Community Woodland today. The garden is literally springing into life and there were many jobs on the go including digging over and planting potatoes in a new bed, fixing the door to the poly tunnel, clearing the ever present glass and rubbish, planting strawberry plants and planting a new willow dome. It’s great to see changes and improvements as a result of everyone’s hard work. Despite the long list of jobs on the go there was time for a chat while enjoying a well earned cuppa.
Our job today was building a willow dome and, if we say it ourselves, we were very pleased with the result. It has a little bit of growing to do as we were maybe a little bit over ambitious with our planning but ambition is never a bad thing 😉
We are looking forward to watching it grow!

Forest Kindergarten Training @ Chatelherault

It was a privilege to spend several days in Chatelherault Country Park this week with my Learning through Landscapes colleague, Gordon, delivering Forest Kindergarten training to a group of early years professionals from South Lanarkshire council. It was great to see their enthusiasm and confidence grow over the course and I look forward to hearing how their Forest Kindergarten adventures progress.

Sharing what we do at CVN with others, motivating and encouraging then to take their children outside is so rewarding. It also serves as a reflection point for me with the opportunity to explain the huge benefits to children (and adults!) of being outdoors in nature. It shows how far we have come at CVN and is a reminder that we shouldn’t take what we have here for granted. We are so lucky to have the amazing Gillies Hill Community Woodland as a resource on our doorstep and to be able to spend so much time there playing and learning.

Meeting new people, sharing practice and exploring such a beautiful location (if, like me, you’ve never been to Chatelherault before, I’d definitely recommend a visit) is reward enough, but lovely to receive positive feedback from participants too 🥰

“I have to comment on Gordon and Jane. They are so knowledgeable, friendly, welcoming, supportive and genuinely nice people. When you have people that are so passionate about what they do it ignites and fire in you and you just want to get out there and do what you have read, learned and spoke about. Thanks to them for making the three days for training memorable and fun.” South Lanarkshire FK participant.