A nature-loving pupil with a passion for keeping his community litter-free has won a £500 voucher for his school.
Dylan Campbell won Paths for All’s Spring Path Days campaign, after he was put forward by his proud mother.
The voucher will be used on den-building kits to help promote Oxgang Primary School in East Dunbartonshire’s outdoor learning programme.
The Spring Path Days competition ran throughout April in a bid to encourage young children and families to reconnect with nature, challenging participants to share stories or photographs of how they spent time outdoors.
The six-year-old’s mum, Caroline Moriarty from Kirkintilloch, said: “Winning this prize has been a big incentive for Dylan to continue spending time outdoors and helping within the local community – he was so excited when he heard that he won the school prize.
“As a family we try to do something active every day and the kids enjoy going on ‘adventure walks’.
“Dylan loves his scooter, playing in the park and climbing trees, so when I heard about the competition I thought why not? It was easy to apply so I submitted an entry for both Dylan and my four-year-old daughter Rebecca.
“A few months ago, we were given litter-pickers by the local community centre so when we go on walks Dylan and his sister collect rubbish. It’s taught them to respect the environment.
“Oxgang Primary School is also looking to get litter-pickers so that more children can join in – if you give them the tools, they will do amazing things.”
The charity has created a host of resources with ideas of how to keep younger children entertained while enjoying time spent connecting with nature and making memories to help families who may feel bored of their usual walking routes.
Graham Bowman, acting depute headteacher at Oxgang Primary School, said: “The school believes there are so many benefits to an active, outdoor lifestyle.
“It improves fitness, health and mental wellbeing whilst providing opportunities for socialising and is proven to increase children’s concentration and attainment.
“It was lovely to see the children react so positively to the news – Dylan received a special mention in the whole school digital assembly and a big round of applause.
“We are all delighted for Dylan and look forward to testing out the den-building kits as soon as they arrive at the school – we have a few hundred excited children.”
Dylan and Rebecca both also won a den-building kit for their own adventures, to reflect their good work in the community and taking part in the competition.
Caroline added: “The den-building kit is fantastic. I hid it in the garden and told Dylan to go outside – he was jumping about when he saw it. He waited for his friend to come over and they built it together.
“Rain or shine he will be out there pretending to be spies or on an adventure. The kit itself came with camping utensils so it’s been really fantastic, giving them the full camping experience.”
Path for All’s campaigns and events showcase how walking can bring significant benefits to the nation’s health and environment.
Rona Gibb, senior manager at Paths for All, said: “Time in nature is good for everyone. It helps us get moving and feel good in body and mind. Being active outdoors relieves stress and can help the whole family have some fun together.
“Dylan and his wee sister were deserving winners. They told us about spotting deer, identifying leaves, cycling along canal paths, walks in the woods and in parks.
“This was as well as the amazing work litter-picking on their local paths. We could see they had a lot of fun, enjoying nature as well as helping to enhance the environment.
“We hope Dylan and his family, and the children at Oxgang School enjoy building their dens and continuing their adventures in nature.”