Pioneering outdoor training at Tramlines Wood

Posted on: 1 April 2015

Woodland2Tutor and woodland expert Matt Parkins tells us about a special programme at Tramlines Wood near Okehampton…

Learn Devon has been pioneering a new outdoor training course for adults recovering from alcohol and drug problems. Using Tramlines Wood and Simmons Park in Okehampton, the participants will earn a certificate for Getting to Know Woodlands. The course comprises elements of tree and wildflower identification, following woodland animal tracks and understanding nature conservation.

As a short course of five weeks, it’s a good introduction to woodland management, but in this case the additional units for navigating and organising walks brought another element of interest and have so far inspired some of the first training cohort to make plans to tackle sections of the South West Coast Path.

Even though the first course has been run through February and March – a tricky time to identify trees – the learners have been inspired by their new woodland knowledge and begun to look at their local environment from a new perspective. One of the group said: “It’s great to learn about wildlife and how to plan a safe walking route. It will make my next walks more interesting.”

The emerging wildflowers are reflected in the students’ growing enthusiasm for the spring time woods and their new personal direction.

The Woodland Trust manages Tramlines Wood as a varied semi-natural woodland – it’s an interesting place for anybody to visit at any time of year.