In December 2016, we successfully received a grant from BBC Children in Need that has allowed us to create the magical interpretative trail, Path of the Little People.
‘Path of the Little People’ is an expansive interpretive trail that combines themes of nature, history, music and renewable energy which are underpinned by stories of the ‘Little People’ of the forest.
Thanks to the grant from BBC Children in Need, since January 2017 over 1000 children and young people with Additional Support Needs, predominately Autism Spectrum Disorder, have helped construct a unique interpretative sensory trail in the forest.
The trail is targeting two distinct groups in our local community:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children aged 6 – 12 years
The trails activities help ASD children have fun while overcoming challenges with social communication and cognitive learning.
- Young People aged 12 – 24 years referred to Wiston Lodge
These may be individuals looking to gain additional experience which could support them into the world of work or further training. These individuals have built many of the trails structures, giving them ownership over the project whilst learning valuable life skills.
Groups have helped to build a drum circle, percussion play zone, Viking boat, giant mud kitchen, gold panning zone, replica Crannog and a beautiful performance stage. The path is also dotted with woodland animal structures and glow-in-the-dark fairy houses.
Through support from BBC Children in Need along with support from Tesco: Bags of Help and Big Lottery: Young Start; we have engaged children with ASN in educational programmes based around our new trail.
These programmes are both bespoke to the groups and child-led; allowing children’s imagination to flourish in this unique sensory environment. The programmes we run are based around the Curriculum for Excellence with a focus on nature discovery, history, music and renewable energy.
Nature Discovery Programmes
Environmental Quests, animal trails, bug and tree identification, building animal habitats, pond dipping, mud kitchen and forest skills.
Musical Magic Programmes
Rhythmical Sound Sanctuary using the percussion zone and drum circle and Story Telling Journey’s where the forest comes alive with sound.
Travels Through Time Programmes
Historical Treasure Quests, gold panning at the Water-Rill, firing the trebuchet and journeying from Stone-Age to Vikings exploring the Crannog and Viking Boat.
Scientific Exploration: Coming Soon!
Discovering the powers of renewable energy through our wind turbine and hydrogen fuel cell.
Without BBC Children in Needs support, these young people would not have had the opportunity to engage in the design and build stage, as well as enjoying the now completed ‘Path of the Little People’
If you would like to help us continue to grow and be able to welcome more children to experience the Path, please consider donating to us directly.
Any money you donate goes directly towards supporting groups of vulnerable young people to come to Wiston Lodge. Thank you.