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Not as scary as you think

Under the umbrella of the Woodland Trust's "Tree for All" campaign, the project is designed to challenge pupils' sometimes negative attitudes towards woodlands as "scary places where unsafe characters lurk", says the trust's communications officer Jacqui Morris.

"We want them to see the positive aspects of local woodlands and to embrace them as a learning environment. In West Lothian alone, we own some 16 urban woodlands and we want young people to make more use of them," she says.

The Lottery-funded project is part of the trust's Branching Out West Lothian initiative, which aims to improve the biodiversity value of the woods, encourage more people get out and into their local woods, and enable schools to use them as a classroom, providing inspiration for learning across the curriculum.

"Working together, the pupils will prepare their own script, star in, direct and produce the films which will portray the natural environment in a positive light and encourage others to visit," says Ms Morris.

"This is the first time the trust has worked with secondary pupils - our focus has traditionally been on primaries - and the first time we have used film as an educational medium.

"In November, we will hold a gala-night showing of the five films at a local cinema, a night to celebrate the pupils' work - a night for them to remember and to be proud of."

The films will be made by pupils from Bathgate, Linlithgow and Whitburn academies, and Inveralmond and Deans community high schools.

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