Dean Castle Country Park is just fabulous!

Dean Castle Country Park is celebrating its 40th birthday this year and Hillbank Early Childhood Centre is looking back fondly at their “fantastic partnership with the Park Ranger Service” and decided to share how important the park and its staff have been over the years in the children's learning and development.

 “The park has offered an abundance of learning opportunities across all areas of the curriculum in all seasons of the year. We have learned about the importance preserving the Bluebell patches in spring, had sports day and mini Olympics in Summer,  watched as the leaves on the trees changed from green to beautiful shades of brown, yellow and red in Autumn. We have made dens for animals in Winter as we learned together about hibernation and even performed our Nativity at Christmas with Christine the Ranger playing the very important role of Angel Gabriel!”.

Christine is a  very active member of the Park Ranger team who leads many of the Ranger Led Sessions within the park, she has been very involved with Hillbank Early Child Hood Centre since their first visit to the park back in 2010 and one of the highest compliments that could be paid is that the staff at Hillbank feel that “Christine is very much part of our team!”

 There is no limit to the learning possibilities within the park as you can see the staff and children never run out of things to do, see or imagine.

“The list of learning opportunities within the park itself is exhaustive from visiting the stables, pond dipping, seeing and learning about different animals and their habitats, experiencing changing landscapes through the seasons, developing an understanding of how to stay safe near rivers and ponds, animals and traffic. These visits have helped develop an understanding of nature and how to look after it in a responsible way.”

 “As children play freely in the woodland they extend imagination and creative skills. Fallen trees become aeroplanes, buses, dragons etc. The children have been involved in den building which incorporates lots of STEM/ problem solving scenarios to challenge the childrens thinking. These dens become McDonalds, houses for the 3 Bears, Witches houses etc and the children love when they arrive at the park and the den is still there from the week before! The fun is endless and wooden bridges become troll bridges, and often when moving through the woodland and experiencing muddy areas, puddles and long grass it sparks opportunities to recite favourite stories such as We’re  Going on a Bear Hunt. Being involved in learning in such a natural active fun way supports children holistically without the pressures of having to stay still.”

 “There are many areas in the park which provide opportunity for developing physical skills and resilience and the children have climbed hills with ropes. Roly pollied down the hills, climbed trees, splashed in puddles and slid on mudslides! The uneven ground has been fabulous for balance and coordination and a favourite thing to do has been throwing stones in the river. “

 Without Christine and the others in the fantastic Ranger service and the Corporate Enforcement Officer the children’s learning would never have been so valuable. Dean Castle Country Park is just fabulous!”

The conclusion is that the park and its staff are “just fabulous” and we have to agree. This just part of the lovely testimonial from Hillbank Nursery and we can't thank them enough for taking the time to put this together and for their kind words. To read more click here

To find out more about ranger led sessions email Info@eastayrshirelsisure.com

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