As Scottish schools are re-discovering the importance of play and increasingly the opportunities presented within the natural environment, Hopetoun Estate was approached by the nearby Broxburn Family Centre in their quest to find a local and natural outdoor venue.
It’s widely recognised that the natural environment can create some of the richest play and learning opportunities. An alternative from some of the modern urban facilities many youngsters grow up with, and with 6,500 acres of land on the Estate, Hopetoun were able to offer a diverse range of locations for the family centre to come and visit.
The family centre run a number of different services for children and young people involving up to 4 different primary schools within West Lothian. The visiting group made up of children aged between 5 and 14 years have the opportunity to spend their whole day based in the Estate’s woodland participating in a number of different play and learning activities including fire building, den building, outdoor cooking, zip wires in trees, nets in trees and even included a delivery of fresh rabbit from the Estate’s game keeper for the team to practice skinning. So far, in excess of 150 children over the course of around 20 days have played out!
This autumn the Broxburn Family Centre are returning to visit the Estate once again and give even more young people to experience natural play in one of the most diverse and scenic landscapes in the area.