SOME £17,000 has been funded by the Forestry Commission to deliver a “programme of activities” at Belleisle Park.

The funding will be used to create a woodlands winter activities project which aims to encourage more people to connect with nature and enjoy the forests.

There will be a number of activities to get involved in, including health walks, volunteering sessions, overnight yurt experiences, guided walks and an opportunity for community groups to take part in activities based in the yurt.

Some of the funding will also be used to run a ‘forest school’ and ‘woodland adventure’ sessions with local primary schools, encouraging children to get outdoors and learn new skills.

Cllr Ian Cochrane, said: “I welcome this funding, not only will it be used to bring us closer to nature but the associated activities are really good for our health and well-being too. We also know that when children develop a bond with nature they are more likely to take action on climate change and live environmentally conscious lifestyles as adults.

“Getting children and young people involved is vital in terms of future conservation, recent studies show that a high percentage of children in Scotland are nature deficient, so I’m pleased that schools will play a key role. Our woodlands are great places to be throughout the year, so get out there and enjoy them.”

A spokesperson at Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), added: “FCS is pleased to be able to support this exciting project that encourages young people and the local community to learn the many benefits of visiting woodland as part of their daily lives.”