Woodland workshops in Broadford

The Broadford centre offers a wide range of quality learning experiences for the whole family

Free outdoor family fun has been available to the Broadford and wider Skye community throughout the October holidays in the form of woodland workshops.

This is a new and exciting development at Broadford Outdoor Learning Centre as the team move to offering meaningful outdoor experiences and time for the whole family.

The centre, based in the community woodlands adjacent to Camping Skye, has been operating since April 2019. Broadford and Strath Community Company established the centre following a successful funding bid to the Scottish Government.

The centre offers a broad range of quality outdoor learning experiences for the local community, with a particular focus on after-school and holiday childcare provided by the Corry Capers team of highly experienced play leaders. “We inspire and guide children to connect to nature and their natural selves through play and exploration,” explains Tracy Keenan, centre manager.

Broadford Outdoor Learning has been fortunate enough to secure funding over the course of the October holidays to run a Covid-secure, green health event for families in the community woodlands. Two households at a time have come together in the forest to play, explore and learn together. Den building, fire lighting, wood crafting and some woodland grafting have all been on the menu for this much needed green health event.

“The family woodland workshops have given local families an opportunity to see what their children experience at Corry Capers sessions as well as welcoming new families to our amazing green space,” said play leader Ailish Culbertson.

This green health event is part of a programme being delivered by the Highland Green Health Partnership which is aiming to encourage more of us to make use of local green and blue spaces as part of the Our Natural Health Service initiative. This particular project was made possible with funding from the EU Leader Rural Development Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Local parent Sarah MacInnes endorsed the work carried out for the local community.

She said: “Corry Capers is a favourite part of my daughter’s week and after attending one of the free family event days at Broadford Outdoor Learning, I can totally see why. Everything about it is fantastic. It’s back to nature in a very fun way that teaches as well as entertains. We, as a family, would 100 per cent recommend.”

Broadford Outdoor Learning is currently in the process of registering with the Care Inspectorate. Once this is achieved the centre will be able to further develop its outdoor learning offer to the local community in terms of affordable, accessible and flexible childcare all year round.

Skye councillor John Finlayson said: “When I visited Corry Capers last week there was a buzz around the forest and the commitment of all involved was so evident and leaders, young people and parents were all enthused about their outdoor learning experiences. The importance and development of outdoor learning is crucial at this time and it is great to see the Broadford Outdoor Learning Centre leading the way with this on Skye.

“Their activities not only support the health and well-being of those involved but also align themselves to the aims of Broadford and Strath Community Company, who endeavour to make Broadford and Strath a desirable place to live, work and spend time. The energy, fun and enthusiasm I witnessed at Corry Capers certainly shows that this is happening.”