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Wild about play!

3 August 2012

Leianna Padgett
Media and Communications Officer

Less than one in ten children regularly play in wild places, but children visiting the RSPB Lochwinnoch nature reserve can now enjoy a dedicated natural play area.

The newly launched natural play area is located in the reserve’s beautiful woodland and is complete with swings, stepping stones, seesaws, climbing ropes, dens and a very muddy mud pit. What makes it different from usual play zones is not only its scenic location, but also that 95% of the material used is completely natural. The seesaws, for example, are made out of trees fallen during last winter’s wind storms.

Zul Bhatia, manager of the reserve, said: “We believe it is really important for children to be able to play in nature. Natural environments allow children to play in much more dynamic and imaginative ways. This helps them develop new play skills such as balance, construction and creativity; that will be very valuable, even in their adult life”.

The play area was officially opened on Wednesday 1st August, National Play Day, during a festive launch event. Despite the rainy weather, children stormed the play area, climbing, jumping, building and getting muddy.

The play area is accessible at any time of the day, any day of the week. The RSPB Lochwinnoch nature reserve also offers other activities for children such as pond dipping, minibeast hunting and wildlife watching.

The reserve is located near Lochwinnoch village, and is a two-minute walk from Lochwinnoch train station. The visitor centre is open daily between 10am and 5pm. 


  • Lochwinnoch nature reserve is one of the last remaining wetlands in West Scotland. For more information on the reserve please visit:
  • Open all year, the reserve is great for families and has several nature trails, a visitor centre, shop and refreshment area.
  • The reserve runs activities for children of all ages every weekend and throughout the school holidays. Please get in touch for more information.
  • We are grateful to Scottish Natural Heritage for their support of our work in the Strathclyde and Ayrshire area.

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