NTS Deliver Third Wilderness Project

Julie McElroy is back with another Wilderness Project. This follows on from the resounding success of the inaugural event in an innovative new programme, which aims to encourage more people with disabilities to access woodlands and green space and develop a meaningful connection to the beautiful natural landscapes Scotland has to offer.

The Wilderness Weekend will also coincide with 2013 being the ‘Year of Natural Scotland’ which is being supported by Scottish Natural Heritage and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. It is about celebrating Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty in 2013! From stunning landscapes and iconic wildlife, to creative events and nature festivals, Scotland’s great outdoors is waiting for you.

In 2011, Julie and the NTS took 6 people to the beautiful Isle of Arran to experience the lush surroundings of the National Trust for Scotland’s Brodick property. In 2012, another eight participants were whisked off to Kintail, the home of beautiful West Highland scenery including the dramatic Falls of Glomach and the Five Sisters of Kintail- a magnificent range of high hills, where the group stayed at the Kintail Morvich Basecamp. Julie has once again teamed up with the NTS to serve up another helping of outdoor adventures, this time in connection with Ben Lomond on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond.

The project, due to take place from the 23rd to 27th of September will see disabled participants take part in a range of outdoor activities including a little taste of the kind of conservation work that is such an important aspect of the Trust’s work.

This time around we’ve raised the challenge, offering disabled participants the opportunity to camp out over night and complete the Discovery level of the John Muir Award. The John Muir Award had played an important part when Julie completed her top Conserver John Muir Award two years ago.

Julie is on the lookout for people to get involved in this exciting opportunity. Participants must be aged 18 – 25 and upwards and be able to commit to the full five days of the project.

Emily Sanderson, Community Partnerships Co-ordinator from the National Trust for Scotland said:
‘After the success of the previous two projects we are delighted to be working with Julie on another Wilderness project, this time at our stunning property, Ben Lomond. The Trust believes that its properties are ‘a place for everyone’ and we therefore relish the opportunity to continue to open our doors to an ever wider representation of Scotland’s community.

As a conservation organisation, we see our volunteering opportunities as a great way for people to contribute to conserving some of the most significant sites in the country’.

A keen adventurer, Julie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was a child and is eager to help more people with disabilities experience the advantages of the outdoors.

She added:

“I have always had a love of the outdoors and I am thrilled to be back for the third time running this wilderness project. The third wilderness adventure will be more stimulating and interesting for the disabled participants.

“More importantly, we are offering disabled participants the opportunity to camp for one night as part of the experience and give them the opportunity to make a start on their John Muir Award Journey.”

Notes to news editors
1. The National Trust for Scotland is one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, which relies on the financial support of its members to fund its important work of caring for the natural and cultural heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy. The Trust cares for a range of sites on Arran, including Brodick Castle and Country Park and Goatfell.

2. The John Muir Trust encourages people to experience wild places and to ‘put something back’ through the John Muir Award. Since 1997 more than 130,000 awards has been achieved. For more information go to http://www.johnmuiraward.org

3. 2013 is Year of Natural Scotland, (Scottish Natural Heritage and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park are strong partners) http://www.snh.gov.uk/enjoying-the-outdoors/year-of-natural-scotland-2013/