‘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’. Imagination is the key, so engage your inner child and get whisked away into our world of nature.
Our designers and creators were children and young people with Additional Support Needs, predominately Autism Spectrum Disorder, who helped construct this unique, rustic, sensory path through the forest. Groups, visitors and schools from across Scotland use this as an educational resource, a place to rest and connect with nature or simply an opportunity to grow and withdraw from the pressures of the world today.
“I’ve never seen them (the young people) talking and encouraging this much before!”
Lanark Grammar School
This enchanting trail can be booked for personal use as a Self-led explorer, as part of an instructor led activity for up to 3.5 hours or block booked at a discount. Please see below for details and pricing.
The trail is designed to engage a variety of groups in our local community
Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ASN
The activities on the trail are designed to help improve awareness, observational skills and help ASD young people have fun, while overcoming challenges with social communication and cognitive learning.Learn more about Autism
Young People Aged 12-24 years referred to Wiston Lodge
These may be individuals looking to gain additional and life experiences supporting them into the world of work or further training. Local young people have built many of the path structures, giving them ownership over the project whilst learning valuable life skills.Enquire
Early Years, Pre-School and Nursery Groups
These may be clubs, groups, nurseries or families and friends looking for an alternative, fun, educational day out. A place to allow young people to explore a safe, creative environment while learning to respect nature around them.Enquire
Groups have helped to build a drum circle, percussion play zone, Viking boat, a giant mud kitchen, we have a gold panning zone, a stunning replica scottish Crannog and a beautiful performance stage arriving soon. The path is also dotted with woodland animal characters, climbing and adventure structures and glow-in-the-dark fairy houses!
Through support from our funders BBC Children in Need, Tesco: Bags of Help and The National Lottery Community Fund: 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.
A good balance between encouraging the young people to take part and push themselves and accepting when they did not want to have a go. The activities were suitable for them and accessible to all. We returned to see the path that we contributed towards last year. They had a stage in the woods so a few of our Angels took the chance to entertain us – FANTASTIC – what else needs said!!
They had the freedom to make their own decisions and communicate with peers to help solve problems. I think this freedom allowed the children to operate outside their comfort zone and interact with others in a meaningful way. As a teacher working with autistic children it was fantastic to see the quality and quantity of interactions between children who would normally find this difficult in a classroom or school setting.
Hareleeshill Primary School
The Path of the Little People couldn’t have happened without funding from BBC Children in Need and Tesco Bags of Help as well as ongoing funding from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Young Start.