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Woodland nursery takes root in Lochbroom with seed funding to provide for 16 children


By Staff Reporter


The woodland nursery has been supported with funding assistance.
The woodland nursery has been supported with funding assistance.

A NEW nursery planned for Lochbroom has been awarded £5000 by Scottish social enterprise company Firstport.

Kinder Croft CIC at Leckmelm plans to open the forest nursery for business later this year.

It aims to provide places for up to 16 children.

“It is fantastic to be given this funding at such a crucial stage in Kinder Croft’s own journey from idea to practical, daily reality,” says Merlin Planterose, its founding director, who has lived in Leckmelm Wood, three miles east of Ullapool, where the nursery will be sited, for much of her own life.

The nursery, which is forming a partnership with Highland Council to provide commissioned places, is determined to be responsive to the needs of local communities.

“I am really excited about the prospect of outdoor learning here,” said local mum Kirsten MacLennan.

The nursery will be located outside Ullapool with spaces for up to 16 children.
The nursery will be located outside Ullapool with spaces for up to 16 children.

“A forest nursery will complement how we want to raise our son. It will suit his nature well. Quinn’s diet and sleep are always better, his play far more interactive and engaged when he’s outside. Living up here our children need to learn quickly how to adapt to changings weather to tale full advantage of the pay opportunities that surround them. There’s so much for them to see and do!”

Kinder Croft, set in a mature, sheltered conifer plantation, will have a sturdy timber shelter and toilet block. Its site is next door to Merlin’s own newly created croft with plans for poly-tunnels and an orchard to complement her existing flock of hens.

The nursery children will have access to all that and learn more about where what they eat comes from.

This seed funding, which helps with start-up costs, comes from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund, which is managed by Firstport.

Apart from Merlin herself, Kinder Croft has eight other directors. Her siblings Sam and Tiril, Andy and Rachel Grant, Dorian Braun, Rhiannon van Muysen, Evie Strange and Martine Noble.

The nursery is currently recruiting a nursery manager and practitioner. As a social enterprise Kinder Croft will devote any surplus income, after running costs and salaries, to fulfilling its social objectives.



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