Youth Vision is a charity based in the Pentlands, at a cottage near Harlaw reservoir. Its committed staff and volunteers run forest schools, gardening and wilderness experiences for young people from Edinburgh. Their base is a fantastic place for young people to learn and be inspired. The cottage is like a comfortable well resourced bothy and outside there is a vegetable garden, green house and a 3 acre plot of land with newly planted trees. Nearby mature woodlands provide a great place to learn woodland skills and run forest schools.
On Saturday morning we gathered at the car park and walked 15min or so to the cottage. After getting a fire going we had breakfast: crumpets, tea and coffee, and then split up in to groups to do different activities: shelter building, copicing, wood carving and making vegetable soup for lunch.
We also experimented with making clay pots using clay dug up from the site, fired in an open fire in the garden – its hugely satisfying making pottery. I also spent some time teaching friction fire using a bow drill. We made a set using sycamore for the hearth board, hazel for the spindle and holly for the bow and bearing block. Despite the cold and frost we got a ember going.
I recently became a board member of Youth Vision and this was my first time in seeing their base and activities. What a wonderful place. Great to see young people engrossed in outdoor learning and enjoying the experience so much.