Workshops are for children aged between 5 and 9 years of age. They will run between the 10th- 20th July. I typically run two session times a day and I can take a maximum of 8 children per session. Children will need a snack and wet weather gear. Welly boots would be a good idea. We will meet at the visitors centre at The Hermitage.

Booking is essential so please call or email me if you would like to book your child on a session. The sessions are below.

COST £5 per child per session


MORNING  10:00am-12:00pm

AFTERNOON 1:00pm-3:00pm


10th-12th July


We will look at the art of Andy Goldsworthy and create our own works of art using natural materials. Children are welcome to bring their own digital cameras to take a picture of their creations and preserve a lasting memory of their artworks. This workshop lends itself to the intermixing of nature and technology.

13th-15th July


We will be exploring the miniature world of The Hermitage what lies beneath our feet and in our streams? Welly boots essential!

16th-18th July


How do animals protect themselves from the elements can you build your own shelter. Children get to try their hands at  their own summer survival skills! Can they do better than other animals that inhabit The Hermitage?



We will start with a walk through The Hermitage and then explore some of the species that live in the Hermitage. What trees grow in the park, what species can we find. Children use their detective skills to uncover rare species.


To book or to discuss things further please call Emily on 07400 527525 or email



February Half Term Holiday Programme!

The Natural Playground Half Term Holiday Programme at The Hermitage

Book now for your place on The Natural Playground Holiday programme at The Hermitage in Edinburgh. Prices are £7 per child. Please ensure your child has warm and waterproof clothing and footwear.

Monday 17th February  10am-12pm Creative Woodland crafts  5-7 years

                                                        1pm-3pm Creative Woodland crafts 7-10 years.

Tuesday 18th Feb                 10am-12pm- Den building and Survival skills  5-7 yrs

                                                         1pm-3on       Den Building and Survival skills  7-10 yrs

Wednesday 19th Feb             10am-12pm Minibeasts and Creepy crawlies 5-7 yrs

                                                            1pm-3pm     Minibeasts and Creepy Crawlies  7-10 yrs

To book a place please contact Emily at or on 07400 527525 to find out more.Booking is essential.

Welcome to 2014

The Natural Playground has started 2014 off with a bang. Yesterday, The Natural Playground was lucky enough to be involved in a truly inspiring INSET day with Preston Street Primary school, sharing ideas on Outdoor Learning.

Preston Street Primary School are doing amazing things with their school grounds and building an outside learning area . The Natural Playground is going to be involved in this process. We will also be running our regular nature after school clubs at Preston Street Primary School.

This year sees The Natural Playground working more with Kindred, an organisation working with young people with autism.  A truly rewarding experience.

At the end of last year The Natural Playground started to forge links with Bruntsfield Primary School .In the New Year new nature clubs will start springing up there too. We are also going to be working more with after school clubs and breakfast clubs in the South Edinburgh area.

The work the Natural Playground is doing at Queensferry will be continuing with workshops at Dalmeny Primary School. The Natural Playground will also be holding regular holiday clubs across the Edinburgh area.

2014 is going to be a busy and inspiring year for The Natural Playground. So here is to an exciting new year and I can’t wait for the play to begin!

2013-11-27 16.01.31


  Hermitage of Braid Nature Reserve, Edinburgh

1st August– 8th August 2013

Bushcraft and Nature activities for children from 5-10 years


Morning sessions for children aged 5-7 years. Afternoon sessions for children aged 7-10 years.


August 1st  and 2nd

Den building and bows and arrows- are you the next Robin Hood?


August 3rd and 4th          

Rope skills- swings, obstacle courses and more.


August 5th and 6th

Art in nature- can you make a masterpiece out of items you have found in the forest?


August 7th and 8th

Forest Magic- elves fairies and pixies- do they really exist? How can we help look after the forest?

Minibeasts- what can we find living underneath our feet?



This week marks a new chapter in The Natural Playground!

This week I would like to welcome a new school to The Natural Playground. We have been busy this week exploring the woods, discovering the creatures that live  underneath tree bark and making dens in the wood,using moss to keep them warm and cosy during winter. We have already mapped out a plan for the rest of the term making bird feeders, nature trails, nests, animal tracking and much more. It should be an exciting term ahead. Welcome to The Natural Playground!


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Wednesday  1st August

Its Playday! Across the UK children are doing what they do best – being outside and loving it!

In the afternoon, with the clouds looming slightly ominously overhead, I packed up my bags with tarpaulins, bamboo canes, seed pots and seeds, cups for tea and hot chocolate and a variety of balls and frisbees, and headed off to The Meadows in Edinburgh.

It was with some trepidation that I started to light the Kelly Kettle. The skies were now turning grey and the wind had picked up. At this moment however, two young boys appeared with their parents to find out what I was up to. The mum of one of them asking for advice as she could never manage to light her own Storm kettle. I now had to light it first time! With help from the two boys stoking the fire we had it going in no time. The parents  meanwhile were playing football and frisbee. The young boys made hot chocolate and tea ready for all. We also had time for some seed planting and experimentation with the tarpaulin. Many parents and children who came over to join in the fun wanted to know more about Playday and The Natural Playground and when I would be visiting the Meadows again so that they could bring friends and family members. Tourists who were here for the festival came to see what was going on and commented on what a fantastic initiative Playday was. We even had two holiday programmes that were out already playing in the nearby play park. They approached me to ask about Playday 2012 and were asking about how to get involved next year. All in all, Playday 2012 was a great success and not only did it get the children outside and playing but it got adults outside and playing too!