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12 July, 2018

New Environment Minister Announces £600,000 for Outdoor Learning

New Environment Minister Announces £600,000 for Outdoor Learning: jupiterartland-d7678

Today, Thursday 12th July, Scotland’s New Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment announced more than £600,000 of funding for Outdoor Learning. Mairi Gougeon MSP made the announcement during a visit with school children to Jupiter Artland Foundation - a sculpture park in woodland near Edinburgh.

Jupiter Artland is one of 16 projects which will benefit from the new Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund that is administered by Scottish Natural Heritage, and will run for two years. All of the projects involve working with schools and nurseries to help children from deprived areas spend time in nature.

Young people aged 3-26 from the most deprived areas and disadvantaged backgrounds in Scotland can experience -  some for the first time -  the wellbeing and learning benefits that come with outdoor learning and play in local parks and greenspace; and opportunities to visit nearby countryside, forest or coast; and some of Scotland’s 'special places’, internationally renowned for their nature or landscape.

On her visit the Minister met children who were taking part in activities at Jupiter Artland and she said: “Outdoor learning connects children and young people with nature, the physical environment and our communities. It is a key component in the delivery of the Curriculum for Excellence, and helps to develop the many skills necessary for our children and young people to meet the social, economic and environmental challenges of life in the 21st century.

“We want to ensure that all children in Scotland – regardless of socio-economic circumstances – have the opportunity to benefit from positive learning experiences in our natural environment. The Scottish Government is helping to make that happen by funding 16 fantastic projects, through the Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund.”    

Mike Cantlay, Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage said: “We know how important getting outdoors is for children’s health and wellbeing and for their learning, and the greatest priority for our funding is outdoor learning activity that makes use of local parks and greenspace for outdoor learning by schools or groups. This funding is part of SNH’s response to young people urging for better ways to connect with nature, as laid out in a report published recently by Scotland’s national youth biodiversity group, ReRoute.”

Kate Latham Head of Learning, Jupiter Artland Foundation said, “Our mission is to get every school child in Scotland to experience art in nature for free, and education is at the centre of what we do. That’s why this funding is such fantastic news, and we’re hugely looking forward to encouraging even more children to learn ways to value beauty and wonder, and to explore our wonderful outdoors.”  

The 16 Projects that will benefit from the fund are:



Jupiter Artland Foundation


South Lanarkshire Council

Growing Up Wild

Glasgow City Council

Outdoor Learning @ Seven Lochs

The Green Team (Edinburgh & Lothians) Ltd

Green Angels

Grounds for Learning

Learning in Local Greenspace

Make IT Wild

Beasties, Bugs and Bairns CIC

East Ayrshire Leisure Trust

Natural Leaders


Springburn Partnership

Dalmilling Primary - South Ayrshire Council

North Ayr School Cluster

The Ecology Centre

Muddy Books

The Aigas Trust

Naturedays: Pay it Forward Project

Firpark Secondary School

Firpark Forest School Project

The Leamy Foundation

Learn and Grow

 Under the Trees Ltd

Nature's Ambassadors 2018/20

Northlight Heritage

Designing the Landscape

Abriachan Forest Trust

Croileagan Goes to Town

Summaries of each project will be available via The Outdoor Learning Fund for Nature website once confirmed agreements are in place



Contact information

SNH Media

Notes to editors

Picture use and caption: Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon (right), with Eliza Probert, age 7, and SNH's chairman, Mike Cantlay. Credit Lorne Gill/SNH for picture use.

The aim of the Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund is to support more young people to have regular, frequent, structured and progressive outdoor learning experiences. The projects selected are focused on young people (3-26 years). They involve a diverse range of activities including the regular use of local parks and greenspace for outdoor learning by schools or groups, visits to nearby countryside, forest or coast planned to complement use of the school grounds, parks and local greenspace. They create opportunities to experience some of Scotland’s 'special places' of national and international importance for their nature or landscape. A second round of funding is planned later in the year.

 The Outdoor Learning Fund for Nature is here:

Jupiter Artland

To access the Reroute report:  

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at SNH is also on Twitter at

NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

’S e NatureScot buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Bidh sinn a’ neartachadh àrainneachd na h-Alba agus a’ brosnachadh dhaoine gu barrachd suim a chur ann an nàdar. Tha e mar phrìomhachas againn gum bi nàdar na h-Alba beairteach agus gun dèilig sinn gu h-èifeachdach le èiginn na gnàth-shìde. Tha an tuilleadh fiosrachaidh aig no air Twitter aig




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