Outward Bound Trust

The Outward Bound Trust is synonymous with using the outdoors and education to help develop young people from all walks of life. Founded in 1941, as a school for Merchant Seamen, the Trust evolved to develop an educational programme that is closely linked to the outdoors. This ethos is as valid today as it was over 70 years ago and in 2014 the Outward Bound Trust worked with 25,802 young people.

Good examples of this positive work crop up all the time. Just this month 106 young people from Fife and Lochaber benefited from Outward Bound® courses, and the August courses had a real focus on natural heritage learning thanks to a partnership between The Outward Bound Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The Trust’s Scottish Director, Martin Davidson neatly explains the value of the Outward Bound Trust, “The Outward Bound Trust exists to unlock the potential in young people through learning and adventure in the outdoors. Our centre at Loch Eil is set amid spectacular scenery and thanks to the funding from Scottish Natural Heritage we have been able to make the most of this to increase learning about Scotland’s wonderful natural environment for young people on our courses and to encourage them to continue to enjoy the outdoors on their return home.”


Scottish Natural Heritage has provided support over three years to enable young people aged 11-18 from across Scotland to participate in five day residential courses with The Outward Bound Trust. Participants from Glenrothes, Lochgelly and Kinlochleven High Schools learnt about the flora and fauna of our mountains, lochs and coast and the natural processes which formed these landscapes.

Other topics were covered in some depth too. They discussed the impact which man has on our landscapes and how to act responsibly in these environments at the same time as they explored on foot in the mountains, canoed and rock climbed as part of their Outward Bound course. Pupils also completed their John Muir ‘Discovery’ Award and learnt about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Those are great outcomes according to Pete Rawcliffe, Unit Manager of the People and Places Unit at Scottish Natural Heritage. “We are really pleased to be supporting The Outward Bound Trust in this work,” explained Pete. “Evidence clearly shows that giving young people opportunities to enjoy and learn about the natural world is hugely beneficial for them in terms of personal development, healthy living and employability. This year’s programme has again provided a unique opportunity for a group of young people, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, to experience some of Scotland’s great outdoors for the first time and to gain benefits that can be life changing.”

Looking forward

The Outward Bound Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage are now seeking schools who would like to participate in this fantastic programme in 2016 and are particularly keen to involve those within the Central Scotland Green Network areas (which covers Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east). Interested schools should contact enquiries@outwardbound.org.uk for further information.

For more information :

The Outward Bound Trust: http://www.outwardbound.org.uk/

Scottish Natural Heritage: http://www.snh.gov.uk/

Central Scotland Green Network: http://www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org/

For information on the John Muir Trust: http://www.johnmuirtrust.org/

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