Outer Hebrides’ school kids encouraged to become Natural Explorers

School children in the Western Isles are encouraged to get out and explore the natural world around them.
School children in the Western Isles are encouraged to get out and explore the natural world around them.

Natural Explorers booklets are landing in the school bags of all P5, P6 and P7 children across the Outer Hebrides this week.

The primary aim of VisitScotland’s latest campaign is to inspire youngsters to get out and about in Scotland and experience the country’s fantastic natural icons and landscapes.

In the Outer Hebrides, there is a plethora of stunning natural locations for all the family to enjoy, including taking a trip to the World Heritage Site of St Kilda, marvelling at the Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis, or trying your hand at sea or surf kayaking on North Uist.

The £30,000 Natural Explorers initiative has seen VisitScotland and partners, such as Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB Scotland, produce more than 165,000 fact finder booklets to give children inspiration about days out and trips in time for the October holidays.

Also included is a special outdoor adventure planner game for playground fun.

Distributed through all Scottish primary schools, the booklets are designed for teachers to use for discussion in class, then to be taken home so children can share the fascinating natural facts with their parents.

The Natural Explorers booklet also points to money saving offers, as well as the chance to win one of 50 family breaks through the Scottish Youth Hostel Association.

Fergus Ewing MSP, Tourism Minister, said: “This fantastic campaign provides an opportunity for young people and their families to explore the natural beauty and outdoor pursuits that Scotland has to offer.

“I am keen for all young people to enjoy first-hand experience outdoors, whether within the school grounds, in urban green spaces, in Scotland’s countryside or in wilder environments.

“This booklet supports our Year of Natural Scotland celebrations of Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity and this will continue as we progress towards Homecoming 2014 and beyond,” he continued.

“This programme will help school children and their families to learn more about our world renowned scenery, wildlife and other natural attractions.”

Alan Mackenzie, VisitScotland Islands Manager, added: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to produce this truly inspirational booklet and that so many children across the Outer Hebrides will have the opportunity to learn about our fantastic country.

“Throughout the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 we’ve been encouraging as many people to get out and about, and with a beautiful Outer Hebrides’ autumn just about to start, there is still time to enjoy what has been a wonderful year so far.”

The Year of Natural Scotland 2013 provides visitors with the ideal opportunity to become immersed in all things Scottish, from the rugged scenery of the Highlands and the splendour of the national parks to the freshness of the natural larders and the warm welcome from people who passionately care about this wild land.