Six family fun days for social good

Greenaspirationscutekidweb

Looking for a great family day out this summer that also has a positive social impact? Whether you want to reconnect with nature or get a history fix, here are some trips with a difference. 

13th June 2017 by Karin Goodwin 0 Comments

Freewheel North, Glasgow

Freewheel North, Glasgow

What’s it about? Not only is this cycling at its most inclusive but also at its most fun. Freewheel North set up its accessible cycle centre in Glasgow Green in 2011 to provide a safe space for new learners and vulnerable users, but anyone can try out its vast range of adapted trikes, family bikes, hand-cranked cycles and go carts. It also runs led-rides both from the centre and its White House base, set up in the north of the city in 2015.

The good: all the profits from activities including lessons, led rides, repairs and bikes for sale (available at White House) go straight back into the charity’s adapted bikes and work to ensure as many people as possible learn to ride or get the confidence to take their bikes onto the roads. On top of that it campaigns for safer cycling infrastructure both locally and nationally.

Price: it costs just £1 to try out bikes at the Glasgow Green centre.

www.freewheelnorth.org.uk

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE)

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE)

What’s it about? With 70 acres of landscaped loveliness just a stone’s throw from the capital city’s centre, this is a perfect summer day out. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) was founded in the 17th century to grow medicinal plants but you can now find beautiful species of all sorts from rare orchids to conifers, monkey puzzle trees and rhododendrons. Family activities include pond dipping, mini beast hunts and animal mask making and there are daily, guided walks for all ages.

The good: the gardens are home to the international conifer conservation project, essential as some 211 of the world’s 615 conifer species are currently endangered. RBGE also helps to re-introduce species such as rhododendrons into the south east Asian countries in which they are now extinct and lots of work is done on climate change and pollution.

Price: the garden is free but glasshouses cost £6.50/£5.50. Daily tours are charged at £6.

www.rbge.org.uk

Green Aspirations, Balfron

Green Aspirations, Balfron

What’s it about? Fancy spending days in the woods sharing outdoor activities with your children from building dens to cooking over the open fire you’ve built together? Family bushcraft sessions at Green Aspirations will remind you how it’s done. This woodland-based social enterprise also offers workshops in everything from axecraft to spoon carving as well as holiday clubs and team building days with a difference.

The good: Green Aspirations was established to help address the growing disconnect between people’s every day lives and nature. It aims to teach traditional rural skills and crafts from woodland management to whittling and inspire a new generation to care better for our environment. It also runs projects that help more marginalised young people shine.

Price: workshops in whittling are £25 and family bushcraft days come in at £45 for one adult and one child (extra child £8, extra adult £15).

www.greenaspirationsscotland.co.uk

Robert Smail’s, NTS, Scottish Borders

Robert Smail’s, NTS, Scottish Borders

What’s it about? Bet your kids just can’t imagine life before computers. Help them find out more about those dark days with a visit to Robert Smail’s Printing Works in Innerleithen, an operational letterpress printers and important part of Scotland’s industrial heritage. Purchased in 1986 by the National Trust for Scotland, there are plenty of hands on activities; see the printing press in action, have a go at being a compositer in the caseroom and admire the waterwheel that once powered the presses.

The good: profits go to the National Trust for Scotland, which was set up in 1931 to help preserve Scotland’s heritage. Not only will investment go into Robert Smail’s but additional profits go to conservation and heritage projects across the country; it is estimated that the trust needs over £90 every minute of every day just to maintain the properties in its care.

Price: tickets are £6.50/£5 with a family ticket available for £16.50.

www.nts.org.uk/Visit/Robert-Smails/

Montrose Basin, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Angus

Montrose Basin, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Angus

What’s it about? This extraordinary enclosed estuary of the river South Esk is home to over 80,000 migratory birds including pink-footed geese, Arctic terns, knots and sedge warblers and osprey. Covering 750 hectares, it’s an important roosting and feeding ground and is internationally significant for breeding eiders and wintering waders and wildfowl. The visitors’ centre offers a range of family friendly activities, with access to telescopes, binoculars and live video footage.

The good: The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s work is hugely varied from protecting ospreys to peatland restoration, protecting red squirrels and re-introducing beavers but all of it helps ensure wildlife in Scotland gets the support not only to survive, but thrive. It also aims to benefit locals, not only helping them experience these wonderful habitats and see wildlife up close but offering volunteering and learning opportunities.

Price: £4 for adults, £3 concession, 50p for children 5-16 and free for under 5s.

scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserve/montrose-basin/

Scottish Crannog Centre, Dunkeld

Scottish Crannog Centre, Dunkeld

What’s it about? Discover what life was like 2,500 years ago at the Scottish Crannog Centre, which focuses on a unique timber reconstruction of an ancient loch dwelling. The thatched crannog, celebrating its 20th anniversary in August, has a mini museum attached and draws on discoveries of remains made by divers looking for evidence of Scotland’s early dwellings. demonstrate a range of ancient crafts used by our early Iron Age ancestors from wood turning to spinning and weaving and fire making: you also get to try them out for yourself.

The good: the Scottish Crannog Centre is owned and operated by the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology (STUA) and all profits go into the charity and its research work. The STUA aims
to promote the research, recording, preservation, and public awareness of crannogs and other submerged settlements. It carries out surveys and underwater excavations throughout the country.

The price: admission is £10/£9 or £7 for children

www.crannog.co.uk

Comments