Families are being invited to join in with FREE celebrations for award-winning Clearburn Natural Play Area’s Second Birthday Bash at New Lanark World Heritage Site, on Saturday 10 September, 1 – 3pm.
The FREE family drop-in sessions will include a variety of woodland themed fun and games, including ‘Fab Foraging’ woodland scavenger hunt with Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde, Woodland-Walk Storytelling with Mr Fox and Bunny Foo Foo from Storyteller Allison Galbraith and woodland crafts from local artist Shirley Marzella.
No birthday celebration would be complete without balloons and cake – fairy cakes will be available for the first families who turn up on the day.
Clearburn Natural Play Area, comprised of adventure play areas, a giant willow storytelling dome and stage, a burn, a secret hideaway tree house, campfire and bug hotels amongst other features, was created in the heart of New Lanark World Heritage Site in September 2014 as a Big Lottery and Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) funded project.
“In two years, Clearburn has become an important part of the local community,” says Jane Masters, Heritage Manager at New Lanark Trust. She continues: “It is used extensively by local schools, nurseries and families, as well as visitors to New Lanark. People can always be found playing in Clearburn – it’s a testament to the fantastic design of the space which incorporates natural areas as well as built structures.”
The design of the play space was led by children from New Lanark Primary School, Robert Owen Memorial Primary School and Lanark Primary School, with involvement from 60 members of the local community, from the initial consultations right through to implementation. The names of school children involved in the projects were carved into a bench beside the willow tunnel so that their contributions will be remembered for years to come.
Since opening, the play area has scooped three prestigious awards; ‘Best Picnic Area within a UK Heritage Location’ at the Hudson’s Heritage Awards (2016), ‘Commendation for a Community Play Space within a National Tourist Attraction’ Nancy Ovens Play Award (2015) and ‘High Commendation’ in the Scottish Civic Trust ‘My Place’ Awards (2015).
Clearburn Natural Play Area is part of a wider initiative in the Clyde and Avon Valley focussing on wild play and connecting families with nature, such as the Growing Up Wild play sessions at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Mauldslie Woodlands and Lesmahagow during the summer holidays.
Karen Dobbins, CAVLP Development Officer, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the celebrations with New Lanark Trust. A key focus for a number of CAVLP projects is to create opportunities for natural play and Clearburn is a fantastic asset to the area.”
She continues: “Surrounded by woodland and with the Clear burn itself flowing through the play area, it allows safe access for children to ‘play wild’ and explore the natural environment. It really is something to celebrate.”
The Clearburn second birthday bash is a FREE, family drop-in event on Saturday 10 September, 1 – 3pm.