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Growing Up Wild family play sessions this summer

Published Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Making a mud kitchen. Image courtesy of OutLET: Play Resource

Time is running out to sign up for the Growing Up Wild events for children and families over the summer holidays.

Following the success of the fully subscribed Growing Up Wild play sessions last year, more funding has been secured this year to to continue the outdoor learning and family woodland play project in RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Chatelherault Country Park, Lanark and Lesmahagow, with OutLET Play Resource.

Associated volunteering opportunities are available and a Community Clean-up at Lanark Loch has taken place ahead of the sessions.

There are still a limited number of tickets available via Eventbrite. And participants are encouraged to register on the waiting list as further spaces may become available which will also help secure funding for similar events in the future.

Dates for the Growing Up Wild family play sessions are as follows:

  • RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, Tuesday 11, 18, 25 July & 1 August, 1pm – 3.30pm, with an additional slot on 25 July at 10am – 12 noon
  • Chatelherault Country Park, Wednesday 12, 19, 26 July & 2 August, with an additional slot on Saturday 15 July, 10am – 12 noon
  • Lanark Racecourse, Wednesday 12, 19, 26 July & 2, 9 August, 1pm – 3.30pm
  • Birkwood Estate, Lesmahagow, Thursday 13, 20, 27 & 3 August, 1pm – 3.30pm

There are also additional Grow Wilder drop-off wild play sessions, taking place. Suitable for ages 5+, these sessions allow children the opportunity to try activities such as den building, making tree swings, exploring in streams, bug hunting, climbing trees, making bows and arrows, building and lighting fires, toasting marshmallows and much more – all without parent supervision. These are as follows:

  • Lanark Racecourse, Wednesday 19 & 9 August, 10am – 12 noon
  • Birkwood Estate, Lesmahagow, Thursday 13, 20, 27 July & 3 August, 10am – 12 noon

Tickets for all these event can be booked through, but those interested in doing so are encouraged to do so quickly, following the popularity of the spring sessions.

The sessions will be supported by Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and the William Grant Foundation. CAVLP is supported by LEADER as part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme. LEADER is co-funded by the European Union and supports eligible projects in rural areas.

OutLET: Play Resource are also looking for volunteers to help deliver play sessions. Perfect for those who want to learn new skills, meet new people and make a difference in their local community. Contact for more information.

A Community Clean-up Day at Lanark Racecourse also took place, ahead of the sessions to ensure the area is safe and usable on Sunday 25 June. Led by OutLET: Play, it was supported by The Wallace Tea Rooms, Scottish Equestrian Centre, BRAVEfaces Facepainting and South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers.
Karen Dobbins, Development Officer with CAVLP said, “I am delighted that CAVLP are able to expand the project to develop opportunities for outdoor play in new areas.” She added, “It is essential for our children’s wellbeing that we allow them the space and freedom to play.”

“We are very excited to be given the opportunity to bring this popular family play initiative back once again this summer,” says Jackie Meager, OutLET: Play Resource. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to play and explore in their local wild spaces and we hope it will help keep the benefits of outdoor play at the forefront of people’s minds”

The summer play sessions are part of a wider programme promoting natural play through Forest School training, an Outdoor Play conference in 2016 and workshops in schools.

For more information, contact To book any of the sessions, go to

For more information on what support is available for setting up a new, local outdoor play club, contact CAVLP on 01555 663 430 /