Skip to main content

A 10-week Woodland Activity Programme that helps people with early stage dementia to take part in a variety of woodland crafts and activities has been awarded top honours in the Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2019.

Organised by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) and Scottish Forestry, the Forth Valley based project – a partnership with Alzheimer’s Scotland, NHS Forth Valley, Wheatlands Care Home, Dundee University - won the Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative.

The Awards which recognise the innovative projects making a big difference to people living with dementia, has four other categories: Best Community Support Initiative, Best Educational Initiative, Best Hospital Care Initiative and Best Care Home Practice Improvement.

Gordon Harper, FLS Community Ranger running the programme said:

“This is a fantastic accolade for everyone who has been involved in this programme since we started it off five years ago in Callander Wood, Falkirk.

“We started off by building on research that highlighted the benefits of being within a woodland surrounding and we focused on what patients were able to do rather than what they weren’t able to do.

“By exploring different ways of providing care and emphasising empowerment and the best possible quality of life, the programme has had an amazingly positive impact on people with dementia, their carers’ and the local community – as well as on the people who have run the programme.

“We are all very pleased that our approach has been so successful and that it has been recognised in this way.”

Scotland’s Dementia Awards is a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council.

Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge faced by society today. There are 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and it is now estimated that 20,000 people every year will be diagnosed with the condition by 2020.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) was established as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 April 2019, following completion of the devolution of forestry as a result of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018. It replaces Forest Enterprise Scotland.
  2. The purpose of FLS is to manage forests and land owned by Scottish Minsters in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; and delivers benefits for people and nature. FLS may manage other forested and non-forested land by arrangement, as set out in the Act.
  3. The primary focus of FLS, in delivering its purpose, is to support Scottish Ministers in their role as leaders of Sustainable Forest Management and Sustainable Development through their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.
  4. |
  5. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 0131 370 5059 or