Deshar Primary School pupils are being treated to a special day out in their local woods today (Friday 7 September) with a forest scavenger treasure hunt, tracking and making woodland art. They’ll also help make a large sculpture of a capercaillie, which will live permanently in Deshar woods.
The Deshar Eco Activity Day has been organised by Scott Henderson, the Boat of Garten Woodland Ranger, with help from Highland Council Ranger Saranne Bish and artist Kevin Blackwell. The aim is to give the children an insight into the variety of wildlife and habitats in their woods – as well as having some fun!
To get their creative juices flowing, pupils will be making animals like squirrels, crossbills and dragonflies out of wood and contributing to the construction, from willow and rowan, of the giant capercaillie sculpture.
Scott Henderson said: “From woodland art to learning about the birds and mammals that share these woods, it’s a packed day for the Deshar pupils but I’m sure they are going to really enjoy themselves. It’s great that we have the whole school coming – all 25 of them – and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the local community, the CNPA and BSW sawmills who have provided logs and chopping blocks!
“Outdoor learning can really help capture the imaginations of young children and having a resource like Deshar woods on the doorstep is really fortunate and it’s great that we can take full advantage of it.”
With funding support from the Cairngorms National Park Authority, the Boat of Garten community decided to employ a part-time, seasonal ranger to help people enjoy their local woodlands more responsibly and to help find ways to improve the local woodlands natural heritage value as both a recreational resource and a habitat for wildlife. The Boat woods are highly valued by the community and are well used by locals and visitors alike with people enjoying a range of activities including walking, cycling and bird watching. The local woodland is also an important area for capercaillie, crested tits and red squirrels.