Wild Cats is a programme of nature connection for 10 to 16-year-olds, based at Willowburn Lea, in the Scottish Borders. The programme spans the calendar year, with 8 day-long sessions.   We combine games, crafts, naturalist skills and survival living to inspire young people to connect with nature and build their confidence, curiosity and awareness.  
There is a particular emphasis on the natural cycles of the day and night and the changing of the seasons. This is reflected in the session dates, each of which is linked to a seasonal or traditional festival.


🙚 Spring Equinox

When: Saturday 19th of March 2022, 10am – 4pm 

Where: Willowburn Lea, Leadburn

What: A day of excitement, inspiration and fun. Sensory games to welcome everyone into the groups, to build trust, confidence and an awareness of hazards. We will look for clues to learn more about the activities of the animals and birds we are sharing the land with.

🙚 Beltane

When: Saturday 30th April 2022, 10am – 4pm 

Where: Willowburn Lea and Leadburn Community Woodland

What: This high energy day will involve a trip to the ponds at Willowburn Community Woodland where the frogs will be at their most raucous. We will continue to track wildlife in the landscape and will be connecting with fire and fire making skills. 

🙚 Summer Solstice

When: Saturday 11th of June 2022, 10am – 4pm 

Where: Willowburn Lea

What: Summer time, a time of effort and focus, a time for survival skills.  We will hone our skills with tools and our tracking of mammals across the landscape.     

🙚 Lammas

When: Saturday 20th of August 2022, 10am – 4pm 

Where: Roslin Glen

What: Later summer is a time of relaxation, internal growth and self care. We will play with plants. Having no fixed destination (and maybe getting a bit lost on purpose) we will explore the food and medicine that is around us in nature. 

🙚Autumnal Equinox

When: Saturday 24th of September 2022, 10am – 4pm

Where: Willowburn Lea, Leadburn

What: This is a chance to celebrate the land and the harvest. We will sing and tell stories. Use stories to find our way through the landscape. We will do a task to improve the land around us and make a medicinal ointment from the plants collected last time. 

🙚 Samhain

When: Saturday 5th of November 2022, 10am – 4pm 

Where: Willowburn Lea, Leadburn

What: A time to tune into ancestors and archetypes. Human and non human, old and new. We will weave willow and make cordage, crafts that connect us to heritage species of the land and people who used them in the past. 

🙚 Winter Solstice

When: Saturday 17th of December 2022, 10am – 4pm  

Where: Willowburn Lea, Leadburn

What: We will be connecting to magic of the dark and the night. We will find our way to secret spaces and explore the way darkness can hide us and hide things from us. There will be a focus on expanding our senses, peace making and group unity. 

🙚 Imbolc

When: Saturday 6 February 2023, 10am – 4pm

Where: Willowburn Lea, Leadburn

What: This is a time of magic, a time of endings and beginnings. The key elements of the session will be fire lighting, hearth building, setting intentions for the year and listening to the birds. 

The Wild Cats team

Meet Elly and Louise, two experienced outdoor learning practitioners, who will be guiding the young people through the Wild Cats programme.

“I am a community outdoor educator and food grower who has been working in gardens and woods for many years. I am a Forest School Practitioner, trained in 8 Shields Nature Connection and I am part of the team that delivers the Edinburgh Permaculture Design Course each year. I am passionate about finding sustainable ways of living, bringing them into our communities and celebrating the ways they connect us to nature, to the people in our lives and to ourselves. Wild Cats will give us the opportunity to play, explore and learn with the greatest teacher of all: nature”. 

Elly Kinross. one of the Wild Cat leaders

I have worked at the Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery in Fife since 2012, as a woods practitioner with pre-school children, and now as training and workshop facilitator. I have trained and volunteered in the Art of Mentoring and 8 Shields nature connection model, and have participated in immersive nature and soulcraft programmes with the Animas Valley Institute. I am qualified as a Hand in Hand Parenting Instructor.“


The cost for the full year programme is £225.00 per person, with a concessionary rate for families on low incomes and for families where more than one young person is taking part. 

  • Full Fee place £225
  • Concession place £150
  • Multiple Family place £150


  • Complete the online booking form here (includes cancellation / refund policy)
  • Make the fee payment (fees can be paid in installments by arrangement) – and you’re booked!

Have a question about Wild Cats?

Email us on contact.nonstuff@gmail.com