Pupils learned respect of elders as den was built for woodland

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A £5,000 den will be officially opened at Wooplaw near Stow on Tuesday.

The ‘den in the sky’, a hut on stilts named the Wooploft, is being completed in Gullet Wood of Wooplaw Community Woodland.

The construction came about when the Forestry Commission awarded £5,000 to Gorebridge Community Development Trust (GCDT) to run a community-based project to celebrate the Year of the Forest last year.

GCDT directors environmental artist Stephanie Walker and architect Gail Halvorsen ran wood workshops with primary schools to build a timber structure in their playgrounds, which resulted in the Wooploft. But plans to put it up in a Pathhead primary school were knocked back and the directors decided to build it in Wooplaw. Volunteers – from retired Friends of Wooplaw to local building firms – helped the P7 Pathhead pupils put the building up.

Wooplaw’s Bob Fleet said: “The generosity of these helpers and the sawmills that donated material for the project has been heartening. This is an example of the very best of a community project in every sense of the word.”

And Ms Halvorsen said: “To see the mutual respect of a P7 pupil working alongside a retired man grow as he teaches them the skills of woodworking has been uplifting.”

The opening of The Wooploft takes place at 1pm on Tuesday, June 26, with games and activities for the children afterwards.