Outdoor Learning

The Learning in a Heritage Landscape - Transforming Work project maximised the potential of Abbotsford's estate to provide unique learning experiences for members of the community. Activities and tasks were guided by the philosophies of two great Scots: Sir Walter Scott and John Muir. Some sessions developed employability and skills while others fostered a greater understanding of health and wellbeing. The project also aimed to engage local people with the legacy of Sir Walter Scott and the place he created at Abbotsford.

All groups visited the house as an introduction to the man, his life and works using activities in the gardens and estate to delve further into his passions for the outdoors. Scott considered his estate as a source of inspiration and key to maintaining physial and mental health. The concept was explored through:

    • creative activities, including woodland art, poetry writing and sound maps,
    • physical tasks, such as planting, conservation and tree aging, and
    • mindfullness sessions including silent walks and sensory treature hunts.

All participants reported a greater understanding of Sir Walter Scott and his legacy, as well as a heightened knowledge of the natural world.

Six of the eight groups who took part in the project used their learning experiences at Abbotsford to achieve a John Muir Trust Award, while the remaining two groups, from the Community Learning and Develpoment (CLD) programme, achieved the Youth Scotland's Dynamic Youth and Hi5 awards. Participants were also given recognition by the Trust itself with an Abbotsford Award of Achievement.