We have been best friends since we were four years old. When we reminisce about the magical moments from our childhood in Glasgow’s south-side, we chat about the endless hours we spent outdoors making stick boats to race down the stream, the den we made in the Rhododendron bushes for our ‘secret club’ and and climbing the ‘witch tree’ that became our hide-out house and from where we sat and watched the world go by. We splashed in burns, got mucky making mud pies, and creative making petal rose perfume to sell to the neighbours. We have fond memories of the winter months when we made ice slides on the hills at our local park and made an igloo in the back garden with a spade and some shoe boxes!
We now have young families of our own and would like our children, and other local pre-school children, to experience the freedom to explore and learn through play in an outdoor environment. Research shows that fewer than one in ten of today’s children have played in a wild place compared to half of their parents’ generation. We would like to help change this….
So in 2009, we opened Glasgow’s first outdoor nursery in order to provide preschool children in Glasgow and the surrounding area the unique opportunity to experience nature first hand and to develop and thrive in the more challenging and stimulating environment of natural woodland. The children attending spend up to 80% of the day outdoors in the woodland of Pollok Country Park, having the freedom to explore and learn through nature whilst engaging in high quality learning experiences. The friendly, supportive and nurturing environment enables the children to develop their emotional intelligence, resulting in confident, creative and independent children.
However the nursery is more than an just an opportunity for children to play in the woods and get some fresh air. Since opening, we have achieved partnership with Glasgow City Council who have rated the nursery as the top private nursery in the local area, two fantastic reports from the Care Inspectorate and have therefore experienced high demand for placements. Some parents have chosen to combine this unique outdoor experience with their existing childcare arrangements, often attending one or two days per week.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of the nursery so far. We are sure we have had as much fun as the children in the woods!
Alison and Debbie (Founders)
* Free trial day is subject to availability