“this is amazing”

“ great to see parents so engaged with their children”

This summer we supported City of Edinburgh Council with their Discover! programme, facilitating nature play in local parks.

The Discover programme is open to disadvantaged families accessing free school meals to alleviate pressures during the school holidays. The programme ran  at 4 Hubs throughout the city during the summer holidays. Families received breakfast and lunch, and a number of fun activities were also provided at the Hubs. Each week a trip was organised which included a trip to Bonaly country park, Blair Drummond Safari park and a picnic in a local park.

The Green Team supported the picnic in the park, arriving with the cargo bike filled with hammocks, ropes, tarpaulins and a mud kitchen supporting families to enjoy nature play. Children and adults all got involved with den-building, swinging in hammocks and getting muddy in the mud kitchen. We went to three different parks, The Inch, Craigmillar and the grounds at Gate 55 (due to bad weather forecast). We worked with a total of 40 families, and 110 children over 3 sessions.

CEC staff comments about the day in the park were very positive and one staff member commented that it was so good seeing the families engaging with the activities in the outdoors and with each other. Another staff member said “ I am not very outdoorsy, but have really enjoyed this session in the outdoors and making a den” . One parent commented “I remember making dens as a child” and many were brave enough to try sitting and relaxing in a hammock.

We hope that we can continue to support more families through this programme in the future.