Mar Lodge Adventure
Aberdeenshire pupils experience adventure in the Cairngorms
Secondary school pupils from across Aberdeenshire participated with five days of adventure in the Cairngorms. Around 30 students are taking part in this year’s Cairngorms Outdoor Adventure programme, which ran from Monday 24 June until Friday 28 June. The annual programme is a partnership between Aberdeenshire Active Schools, Cairngorms National Park, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), the River Dee Trust, John Muir Trust and Tiso. The secondary school pupils from Banchory, Mackie and Mearns academies took part in the event, based at Mar Lodge Estate.
They got involved in a wide range of activities to raise their understanding of issues around environment, ecology, land management and conservation. Activities included mountain biking, gorge walking, conservation work with NTS staff, stalking, midnight stake outs and learning to fly fish the River Dee. The activities were designed in such a way that, all participants achieved their John Muir Trust Awards by the end of the week. The Cairngorms Outdoor Adventure programme is aimed at exposing students to the landscape of the Cairngorms National Park and to develop their understanding of the people who live and work in the area and the organisations which manage it.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Councillor Isobel Davidson, said: “In Aberdeenshire we have some of the most beautiful and diverse countryside in Scotland but it is easy to forget about the huge amount of conservation and management work that goes in to the area. “This is a fantastic opportunity for school pupils to learn more about the countryside and the people who make it what it is, while taking part in some fun and exciting activities.”
Teachers also gathered at Mar Lodge on Wednesday (26 June) for a CPD (continuing professional development) outdoor learning day. Workshops ran throughout the day by the River Dee Trust, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service, teachers from Aboyne and Banchory schools, the John Muir Trust and outdoor expert Willow Lohr. Other organisations, including Active Aberdeenshire, Duke of Edinburgh, Education Scotland, Ocean Youth Trust, Police Scotland, Outward Bound and Scottish Natural Heritage hosted stalls at the event.