The ROWAN Project
Respect Our Woodland And Nature
The ROWAN project was inspired by Branching Out. Branching Out was a joint initiative between New Caledonian Woodlands, the Orchard Centre and Forestry Commission (Scotland) where members engaged in health walks, bush craft, conservation and environmental art. The ROWAN Group works with the Midlothian Rangers Service and the Forestry Commission to run the Project.
It aims to encourage its members to enjoy the benefits of being close to nature and the sense of wellbeing it offers. The project offers members a chance to participate in conserving local woodland and walkways for the benefit of the wider community. We offer health walks and an opportunity to learn about woodland skills and environmental issues.
Members can attend Branching Out activities that can lead to gaining a John Muir Discovery award and further training through Rural skills training. A few of our members have recently gained these awards so well done to them!
The project currently is involved in conservation activities with the local Ranger service at Roslin Glen, Bonnyrigg footpaths initiative, Midlothian Community Hospital Garden Project and the ‘Lost Garden’ in Penicuik.
ROWAN Group initiatives have included:
Raised Bed Initiative – volunteers and members built a raised bed and in the process learned new skills. Vegetables were introduced to the garden and were added to delicious meals cooked in the Centre Café. Different plants are planted in the garden to encourage biodiversity.
Bonnyrigg Footpath Initiative – Members have started work to cut back the dense overgrowth of sections of the old railway pathways that are used by walkers and cyclists. The initiative aims to help make the pathways more accessible and safer for use in partnership with the local Ranger service. Local community feedback to the Ranger service has been very positive due to the improved access to the footpath.
Roslin Glen – During the winter months, the group assisted with some essential tasks to improve the park. They worked to improve drainage, felled trees, planted and carried out hedgerow and general maintenance. During spring, they helped to improve access to woodland paths which continued throughout the summer. Summer and autumn tasks included assisting with pathway maintenance and tree planting. Members are also working to develop an area of land close to the river. They felled trees to enable mature trees to thrive and create natural shelters with the felled trees. The shelters provide cover for wildlife during the harsh winter months.
All donations welcome! Please help us to make a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing in Scotland.
Click here to donate £5, £10 or £50 quickly and easily with our JustGiving donate box!