Free family events in Borders woodlands to explore great outdoors

Families enjoy the BFT open day
Families enjoy the BFT open day

This year the United Nations is celebrating International Year of Forests, and here in the Borders we’re having our own celebration in August with loads of opportunities to explore the woodlands in our local area.

Borders Forest Trust has organised a programme of free family events which will run in community woodlands throughout August. From bug hunts to green woodworking, there are a whole host of activities on offer for people to come along and try as part of the trust’s 15th anniversary celebrations.

The launch event is BFT’s annual Woodland Family Fun Day at Darnick Community Woodland near Melrose, on Sunday, August 7, from 11am-3pm.

It’s a chance to explore the great outdoors, learn some new skills and have fun. Borders Forest Trust staff will also be on hand to answer questions about our local woodlands.

Louisa Finch, communications officer, said: “Darnick is a really interesting community woodland where the local group have been hard at work planting trees, creating paths and holding special events.

“They recently had a wooden shelter installed and have planted an orchard too.

“We’re excited to be holding our open day there and are looking forward to having local experts on hand to showcase skills like traditional fire lighting, green woodworking and willow weaving.”

There will also be several opportunities for youngsters with an interest in nature to find out more about the wild creatures that live in our woods at a series of events in August led by the trust’s community liaison and education officer Anna Craigen at Gordon and Wooplaw Woods.

The Gordon events will be held on August 11 and 15.

She’ll be leading scavenger hunts, pond dipping, nature detective work, den-building, and other games and crafts that let children get their hands dirty and learn more about woodlands and wildlife.

Anna explained: “We hope that families will come along and take part in loads of different fun activities.

“They’ll be able to search high and low for creepy crawlies, have a go at making a den, learn woodland crafts and even try some nature tracking activities.”

The month of events rounds off with a Family Fun Day at Wooden Anna Community Woodland in Kelso on August 27, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to come along and enjoy the social side of our precious woodlands.

Booking for children’s events is essential as places are limited – please call Anna Craigen on 01835 830750 or email

No booking is required for the annual Woodland Family Fun Day at Darnick or the Family Fun Day at Kelso.

Full details of all events can be found on the BFT website,