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09 May, 2014

Cash award helps Scots youngsters to enjoy nature and complete their 'Discovery'

Two hundred youngsters, 70% of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, will get close to nature and enjoy outdoor adventures this spring following a grant from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The £16,200 award is to The Outward Bound Trust, to help young people from across Scotland attend a five-day course near Fort William, at The Trust's Loch Eil residential centre.

The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity which helps 9-24 year olds from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities to benefit from a life-changing' outdoor experience. The courses funded by SNH will place special focus on Scotland's wildlife and geology, and help participants complete their John Muir Award at Discovery' level.

Ian Ross, SNH Chairman, said:

"We are really pleased to be supporting The Outward Bound Trust in this work. In getting involved in these sorts of outdoor activities, particularly in a residential setting, young people can develop practical and social interpersonal skills; they gain a sense of achievement, self-confidence and self-esteem. It is also a fantastic opportunity for them to experience Scotland's wonderful outdoor environment and establish a life-long interest in its care."

Courses will include adventurous outdoor activities in a range of settings, such as sea kayaking and an overnight mountain expedition on foot. At the same time participants will learn about the local native wildlife and how geology and weathering have created the landscapes around them. They will also practice skills to help them in education, work and life, such as planning, personal organisation, resilience, team working and leadership.

William Ripley, Director of Learning and Adventure at The Outward Bound Trust said:

"The project will provide a safe, structured way for participants to experience the outdoors, introducing them to new locations to which they can return and inspiring them to explore more closer to home.

"The exciting outside activities on the course led by our experienced team of Outward Bound instructors are great for the youngsters' physical and mental health. The course also helps them to develop self-confidence and skills which can translate into better engagement and grades at school, raised aspirations and ultimately, better employment prospects."

Contact information

Dominic Shann
Job Title
Media Relations Officer
01463 725157
Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help people understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

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