Sanctuary helps high school pupils experience nature

North Lanarkshire high school pupils have been enjoying the great outdoors thanks to Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association.

Cumbernauld Living Landscape is using grants from the housing provider and the Heritage Lottery Fund to get S4 pupils from St Maurice’s High School into the town’s green space.

The Natural Connections project enables hard-to-reach teenagers to experience something other than academia. Workshops include woodcarving and cooking outdoors.

Tracy Lambert, Cumbernauld Living Landscape’s community engagement officer, said: “We’ve seen a massive change in the pupils’ maturity, their confidence levels have increased, and their ability for team working and independent working has been incredible.

“It’s been really good to hear we’ve had some really successful students going on to positive destinations. For us that’s a win, it’s absolutely brilliant.”

Pupils make fire and cook basic food in the woodland

Pupils make fire and cook basic food in the woodland

Mrs Lynas, Prince’s Trust adviser at St Maurice’s High School, said: “The project has had a very positive impact on the pupils’ lives.

“They’ve got a better appreciation of the environment that they live in and a better appreciation of Cumbernauld.

“Being out the classroom and getting fresh air has benefitted their mental health and their physical health as well.

“Getting the grant from Sanctuary really has helped. The school is going to use all of the equipment to encourage other departments, whole school events, to take the kids outside to this wonderful area.”