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4. Sensing the woods

Everything wants to become a wood

Parkhead West Calder Badge.png By Parkhead West Calder Primary School (2. Art and Poetry in the Woods ,1. John McGarty )

Sharpening our senses for a different view of the woods

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It wasn't always like this

Polbeth Community garden wasn't always like this. West Calder was once a smoky place of place of trains, mines and oilworks where plants and people struggled to grow. The air was polluted from the nearby oil works, miners' cottages were very cramped and living was tough. This is Oakbank village which was just up the road from the garden. Look closely to find out how many children have no shoes.

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Trees and Mirrors

What would those children have thought if they could see us walking round Polbeth Community Garden viewing the trees above with a mirror and not falling over? We worked in the garden every week, planting trees, clearing spaces and helping this beautiful place to grow and provide habitat for many birds, insects and animals. Here we are seeing the woods by looking upward into the branches as we walk.


Woodland aroma cocktail

We each gathered leaves, soil, seeds, twigs and many more things from the woodland floor and mixed them with water to make an aroma cocktail. You could smell the woodland in winter! Maybe this is the smell that all the woodland creatures here love?

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Walking Blindfold

It's really weird when you have to trust your friend not to lead you into a ditch or a massive tree trunk.The wood seems very different when you can't use your eyes.


Forest Colour Palette

You don't realise how many colours are in the woods until you make a palette.. We collected seeds, dead flowers, straw, dead insects and much more then stuck them to a white palette. They were beautiful!

Sensory Walkers!

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Shale trail map

Kids' Shale trail map

The Shale Trail has been supported by the following:
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