A new scheme is underway to help groups in North East Scotland get out and enjoy nature, reports Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Working with the Buchan Countryside Group, SNH is offering 50% travel grants to community and other similar groups.
Ewen Cameron, SNH’s Operations Manager in Aberdeen, said:
“Times are tough for more and more people, so we are targeting our support on groups which aren’t as independent – such as groups working with the elderly, those with disabilities or long-term illness and others who are finding life a bit of a struggle.
“This is a great first step for many people – they just need some practical help to get their first ‘taster’ of the outdoors. Once they have that, many go on to explore the outdoors near where they live, with the confidence they get from their first adventure.
“The value of outdoor activity is increasingly recognised as good for our mental and physical wellbeing. Many of us can easily get out and enjoy Scotland’s wonderful nature, but it’s difficult for some groups so we want to help them have the same chances.
“Whether you live in Moray, Aberdeenshire or Aberdeen, there are lots of places you can visit: nature reserves, wildlife centres, country parks and beyond these, a network of footpaths link up our open spaces. Whether you live in the town or the city, just such a space will be nearby and there will usually be some local expert who can introduce you to the wonders of nature.”
A group from Children 1st in Fraserburgh were the first recipients of the grant.
They visited Macduff Marine Aquarium, where they were introduced to the wildlife found on North East coasts – an interest they can now continue themselves back in the Broch.
For more information and application details, visit www.outdoors4all.org.uk/ctg.html.