Outdoor Education Information for Schools
Useful Information for Schools and community bookings:
Parental Information-What you need to know about an Outdoor Education Day (PDF)
Outdoor Education Consent Form (PDF)
Shetland has a stunning natural environment for enjoying the wild. Dramatic sea cliffs, subterranean passages, caves, secluded voes, remote hills, uninhabited islands, open skies, and a feeling of remoteness, are all available to experience a memorable outdoor adventure.
Shetland Islands Council Outdoor Education Team provide an exciting range of outdoor adventurous journeys, for young people, and adults throughout Shetland, led by a team of qualified and experienced instructors.
Our programme is busiest during the summer months, taking advantage of the long hours of daylight, and warmer temperatures, however we are active throughout the year. During the winter months we can often be found in the shelter of the woods or going for an exhilarating walk on one of the many dramatic headlands.
Regardless of the weather our knowledge of specific venues allows us to deliver safe and enjoyable experiences throughout the year. We are inspected biannually by the Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority Service.
Our Philosophy - "To offer young people and adults opportunities for personal challenge in the outdoors and an intimate appreciation of the wild landscape of Shetland"
Depending on the weather, conditions and time of the year, our activities follow one of the following five main themes:
Our most popular activity in the summer months, involves exploring a section of rocky coastline, and experience the world through the "otters eyes".
This journey could involve scrambling, climbing, traversing, wading, falling (into water), jumping, corkscrewing, floating and bobbing. It might involve swimming under arches and through oceanic subterranean passages.
All participants are fully kitted out with 5mm steamer wetsuits, buoyancy aids, helmets and sticky soled "canyoneering" boots.
One of the best ways to explore the rugged coastline of Shetland is by canoe. Using a fleet of open canoes, participants learn basic paddle strokes, and open water safety procedures before exploring some of the numerous arches, caves and stacks.
More often than not we build catamaran's with the canoes so everyone can enjoy the experience together. We often paddle to an uninhabited island or stop on a secluded beach for our lunch.
On the way back groups will often find themselves jumping in and swimming to shore (if they choose to). If you are lucky seals will follow us and maybe even swim under the canoes.
The coastline of Shetland provides us with some brilliant opportunities to experience rocky journeys by the sea. As you travel along a section of rocky coastline, you will learn how to move on rock, you will enjoy a mixture of scrambling, climbing and traversing.
Sometimes you will need to use your hands as well as your feet. At times you will be right out there on the edge. If we opt for a more exciting route we might need to show you how to use ropes, and the skills of abseiling to descend of steep cliff.
Shetland has many wild and remote areas of hill land, one of the nicest ways to spend a day is going for a walk.
Along the way, you will experience the rich natural wonders of Shetland. The call of the Golden Plover, the flash of a Merlin, or the Cotton Grass waving in the gentle breeze.
If time and conditions allow we might choose a walk up Ronas Hill (Shetlands highest hill). When you reach the top (and you are lucky and there is no cloud cover), you will be able to see the whole of Shetland stretching far in the distance, from Foula to the West, to Fitful Head to the South, Out Skerries to the East, and Saxaford to the North.
Shetland is not known for its woodland, however we do have some small plantations. A day in the woods is like an away day from Shetland!
During the adventure you will take part in a wide variety of activities, which might include climbing trees, balancing across fallen logs, swinging out over a stream, building shelters, letting natures deep peace flow, listening to stories around an open log fire and walking across a postman's walk or slackline. If we have time we might even play the "worlds best game".