Possibly the most important work that the Aigas Trust funds is that of Naturedays. We provide environmental education to students from nursery to secondary school age. Each year over 5,000 students throughout the Highlands and islands of Scotland and beyond are taught by Naturedays on the estate, in local green spaces and in school grounds.
For over 35 years we have tailored programmes for school children and adults to engage with the natural world and inspire people of all ages. Our programmes deliver Curriculum for Excellence, meaning teachers can leave with enthused students, but also tick off a few things from their syllabus. Some of the most loved sessions include bushcraft (fire lighting, shelter building, whittling), freshwater invertebrate investigation and map skills.
Any readers that have visited will recognise the picture below of our wonderful base – the Magnus house. Our eco-friendly centre was erected in 2009 and is built with material sourced within 100 miles. We are powered by solar panels; use recycled plastic as insulation and our beautiful turf roof provides habitat for many insects and wildflowers. The Magnus house is wonderfully located a short walk from the loch, the moor and the native woodlands which provide fantastic outdoor classrooms.
Throughout winter we travel to nurseries and primary schools to deliver our outreach programme. This year our theme is winter survival; we use games and hands-on activities to teach about how animals survive through adaptation, behaviour, migration and hibernation, and discuss actions we can all take to improve their chances. Outreach enables us to teach at schools that may be less privileged or simply too far away to get to Aigas, for example in the coming year we have made plans to visit small schools on the Isles of Skye and Harris.
If you would like any more information on the programmes that we provide please visit our website. As a charity, our work relies on donations. If you wish to make a donation please do so at the following web address: https://www.justgiving.com/aigastrust