A new course that will teach people about the forest environment and its links to conservation, has been launched by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

It has been approved to deliver a Forest and Outdoor Learning Awards course and it will be kicked off and run by the Wildlife and Conservation Management (WCM) team at SRUC’s Barony campus, in Dumfries and Galloway, in May, followed by a full practitioner course in the new academic year.

The aim is to will teach people about the forest environment and its links to conservation, helping students gain a basic understanding of working with it in sustainable ways.

On the course, they will also learn a range of woodland-based practical skills and how to support others in participating imaginatively in the forest environment.

Forest School was originally developed as a child-led learning experience, but it can also help the mental wellbeing and development of children, teenagers and adults by building confidence and self-esteem through learner-inspired experiences in a woodland environment.

SRUC Barony will be the first campus to deliver the new course which will provide a valuable opportunity for existing SRUC students and external candidates to train to become Forest School and outdoor learning practitioners.

WCM lecturer, Lucy Thornton, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us. Qualifications in Forest School are highly respected in WCM industry areas, such as ranger services and community project management, so this will be a great opportunity for our students.

“We will also be marketing these courses externally for school teachers and freelancers to upskill and take the Forest School ethos back to their settings.”

The short introductory three-day course that's running from May 16-18 and costs £410, but a full-on version will be held at the start of the next student year.

* For more information, contact Lucy at: lucy.thornton@sruc.ac.uk or WCM Programme Team Leader Cath Seeds at: cath.seeds@sruc.ac.uk