Woodlands Are For You

Forestry Commission Scotland is encouraging hospital staff, local residents, schools, clubs, community groups and businesses to use the woodland around Forth Valley Royal Hospital as an outdoor venue.

Whether it is for exercise, relaxation, recreation, running a weekly club, establishing a bespoke project or hosting your own event, the Commission is keen for Larbert Woods to be used by local people.Community ranger Gordon Harper said:

 There are so many benefits from being outside in green space – it naturally helps reduce stress, gives you more energy, makes your worries feel smaller and activities like walking and cycling can boost your self-esteem, mood and energy levels.

 “That’s why we want to encourage local people to think of Larbert Woods as another venue, as they would a community centre, gym or church hall. Larbert Woods are open to people from all abilities and backgrounds to go and explore, get more active, live a healthier life, meet new people and try new things.For kids it’s one big playground of fun things to do – perfect for developing orienteering skills, building a den, riding a bike or learning about the natural environment.

“We’re also open to approaches from community groups, for example, if there’s a school or group that need a strip of land to establish a growing project – this is something that we are open to discussing, and, where we can, facilitating.  We can also help signpost groups to available funding opportunities to apply for outdoor equipment.”

Tom Steele, NHS Forth Valley Director of Strategic Projects and Facilities, said:

We are keen that the local community, visitors, NHS staff and patients use this fantastic natural resource right on the doorstep of Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

“The woodland provides a wonderful peaceful area for all ages and abilities to escape and enjoy the outdoors, and the therapeutic effect of nature.”

Contact Forestry Commission Scotland’s local office to discuss ideas for developing local projects: Scottish Lowlands Forest District, t: 01555 660190 or e: scottishlowlands@forestry.gov.uk