Category Archives: WPS

Visit from Learning through Landscapes

Last week a team from Learning through Landscapes Scotland visited us on a glorious sunny spring day. LtL are making 24 short films for Scottish Forestry about managing sites for regular use by early years settings and asked if they could come and see what we get up to at Gillies Hill Community Woodland. We were very happy to meet them and show them around. We were also very interested to see their film and sound equipment.

Falck Renewables – Enriching Communities

We received funding last year from Falck Renewables to allow us to begin the development of our new nursery in Gillies Hill Community Woodland. We also won the Falck Renewables Recovery for a Resilient Sustainable Future Competition. As part of the funding process we were interviewed by Falck and asked about what we do in the woods and about our plans for the future.

A Monster Truck in the woods

We were very interested in the monster truck harvester in the woods today. It’s job is to fell trees and it has already cut down some to make a path along to the walled garden. It has enormous wheels and makes very deep and muddy tracks. We helped Amos mark out an alternative path to the muddy one so people walking can keep out the truck’s way. Look out for our colourful ribbons!!

Mud in the woods

After a long and dry spell which has rendered the burn and puddles in the woods almost non-existent our children were delighted to see the results of Thursday’s heavy rain. They thoroughly explored the changed landscape and textures and engaged with them as only children can!

Be Tick Aware

During woodland play sessions children may be exposed to ticks as they are commonly found in woodland, moorland, grassland and parks. Ticks can sometimes pass on disease such as Lyme disease to humans. Not all ticks are infected and, if they are removed quickly and safely, the chance of illness is greatly reduced.

We strongly recommend that children wear long sleeved tops and trousers as they not only reduce the risk of tick bite they also protect against nettle stings, scrapes and scratches.

We also recommend that parents check for ticks routinely and, if found, remove as soon as possible. The safest way to do this is to use a tick removal tool commonly available in most outdoor shops and chemists.

The following information and guidance may also be useful :

Forestry and Land Scotland : Checking for ticks is easy

NHS Scotland guidelines : Current NHS Scotland Guidelines on Lyme Disease

Forestry Commission: Forestry Commission Identifying Ticks

The following YouTube video by a NHS Highland GP shows how to remove ticks safely :

CVN Orchard

We are very grateful to Aldo for making a lovely new sign to go beside the fruit trees in our orchard in the walled garden. Amos helped the children find a good spot to put it up. Our apple trees are already covered in blossom and there are leaves on the pears , plums and cherries. The children are hoping to be able to harvest some fruit next week!

Damper Bread

The children had great fun (as well as a significant amount of patience) making damper bread in the woods today. The bread took a long, long time to cook but it was worth the wait. The children said it was yummy and that it smelled just like toast 😊

We are a #ForceForNature

We celebrated Earth Day this week in the woods – what better place??
We have been fortunate to have received fruit trees from The Tree Council and today we planted them in the orchard area of the Walled Garden Gillies Hill Community Woodland. Our children are looking forward to harvesting apples, pears, cherries and plums! It was a lot of hard work with some very exciting finds (worms, bees, butterflies, frogs). Our children are indeed a #ForceForNature

Toads in the Castle Pond

What an exciting visit to the castle pond today. Amos had called to say it was Toad City up there so we just had to rush up to see what he was talking about. We were thrilled to see so many toads and even an occasional frog. We learned so much about toads : male toads are much smaller than the females, toads come back to mate in the same place every year (dont like to think how many toads will be in the pond next year!!!), toad spawn is fertilised after it is laid and toads are rough and lumpy but frogs are smooth and much more slippery.

Tree Labelling on our Woodland Site

We had an important job to do today in the woods, and, for the adults, a significant one. Today, we labelled the trees on our site so they could be points of reference for future work. This was the first proper marking of our site, and although there is a long, long way to go, we now have a visible and obvious mark of our intent. The children chose to label their favourite climbing tree number 1 (technically it is 0001) and then worked with great perseverance and dedication to label other surrounding trees. It was so fitting that our children could not only take part but lead in this big step towards developing our woodland nursery.