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If you go down to the woods today…

Richard Haggart looks at an unusual letting recently completed on behalf of Caledonian Estate for a small area of woodland on the outskirts of Bishopbriggs.     

As much as small areas of woodland can provide some amenity value to local communities, they can cause considerable headaches from a management point of view. 

These areas of woodland, especially if located on quiet backroads, can become easy dumping grounds for fly tippers who have no concern for the woodland or the surrounding neighbourhoods.  

Galbraith were recently approached by Auchinairn Afterschool Club, Bishopbriggs, which was looking for a site suitable for the creation of an outdoor forest school. Many after-school clubs now offer a daily or weekly forest school, where children are taken to the woods and encouraged to experience the outdoors and play in, as well as with, the natural materials present.

Gwen Mclaren from the school explained:

As a forest school we follow the ethos and principle of the Scandinavian approach to child development. We aim to develop the holistic child – developing social skills, emotional intelligence, physical development and supporting creative development. These are areas of child development which are often overlooked but important for long-term health and wellbeing and crucial in today’s fast-paced society. 

Having identified a suitable site, we worked with our client’s solicitor and the after-school club to ensure a suitable agreement was put in place. Following this, the estate undertook some clearance work before the club moved in. Further work was undertaken by the club to provide a safe environment for the children.  

Rich Oliver of Caledonian Estate commented:

As an estate we are delighted to have assisted the local after-school club in securing a new home. It was a real team effort with a neighbouring farmer creating a bus parking area. The erection of signage has helped to create an area of woodland that the community can be proud of which helps kids get out into the wild. 

Gwen added:

In co-operation with the landlord and neighbouring farmers, we have turned a small area of neglected woodland into an environment where children can get outdoors and learn skills that will stay with them for life. We have four qualified forest school leaders who encourage risk-taking in a supported environment.

We are so pleased to have been given the opportunity to relocate to our new site and cannot thank Caledonian Estate and Galbraith enough for the opportunity to support children in the best way possible.