Easter Funday in Wonderland

Original Author: Paul McDonald


Paul McDonald (Project Officer for Argyll & the Trossachs), Lorna Hutchison and Samira Takla (SSRS Volunteers) spend Easter Sunday engaging visitors at The Lodge Visitor Centre, Aberfoyle.


This Easter Sunday saw a magical transformation in at The Lodge Visitor Centre in Aberfoyle. The Forestry Commission Scotland and RSPB had organised a series of family activities to mark the holiday based, loosely, on Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland tales. Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels was invited along to speak to families about red squirrels and to provide a range of indoor squirrelly activities for visiting children, many of whom had just seen their first red squirrel at the viewing hide.

The Lodge (formerly Dave Marshall Lodge) is one of Aberfoyle’s major attractions and, situated close to both Glasgow and Edinburgh, pulls in thousands of local visitors and tourists each year. There is an excellent network of trails close to The Lodge, which were taken over by a “Through the Looking Glass” styled scavenger hunt, presided over by bunny-eared Forestry Commission staff and volunteers.

Inside, away from the blistering 14 degree sun, the team had some fun activities for families while talking about squirrels and other wildlife in the area. Both children and adults had a blast, drawing their versions of red squirrels (seen in the collage below). Our Sandy Squirrel Funpage, drawn by The Beano’s DC Thomson, kept many kids quiet, much to their parents’ delight! And our build-your-own-squirrel-pencil-holder stall was the showstopper! Over 200 people stopped by the three stalls, operated by me and two SSRS volunteers (THANK YOU Lorna Hutchison and Samira Takla!).

Highlights of the day included: the delighted looks on people’s faces after seeing their first red squirrel, the return of Aberfoyle’s ospreys on the live-feed screened next to us, and the Duck Races (or excuses for a break from the artsy madness!).

All in all, it was an exciting, enjoyable and hectic day for visitors, volunteers and staff!

Thank you to everybody who came to visit us! Here’s the collage we promised you on the day:

And the winner is…

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