Good gear

Children: Craigdon Mountain Sports in Aberdeen and Inverurie and Cotswold Outdoor Aberdeen sell good outdoor clothing for children. Online, Mud Pies recommends Kozi Kidz, Little Trekkers, Muddy Puddles, Raindrops, Skogstad and Togz.

Warm hands and feet really make a difference to how long tots are out in the Winter so invest in some cosy gloves, boots and hats. Mitts are easier to put on tots than gloves. Kozi Kidz and Raindrops sell fleece-lined waterproof mitts that allow children to play in ice, mud and snow. Thermal wellies such as Startrite Mudbusters are great for Aberdeen winters being warm and waterproof (snow boots are better for powder dry snow). Street Stompers in Aberdeen and Trendy Treads in Inverurie sell them, starting at a baby size 4 (EU20). Bogs also do very small neoprene wellies that get great reviews. Hats with earflaps, such as trapper hats, are also a really good buy.

Mums, Grannies and Aunties: a longer jacket with a decent collar and hood, such as a waterproof parka, is what you are looking for – try makes such as Didriksons, Merrell or Seasalt which look good as well as being warm. If you suffer from cold toes try some neoprene wellies – Muck Boots or Grubs are two good brands. Pac boots such as Sorel are also really warm. A pair of waterproof trousers also just makes life seem better – doesn’t matter what kind, as long as they keep out the wind and rain and let you splash in puddles too. If you have a bump or use a baby carrier you will probably love mamalila jackets!

Bits and bugs

Insect Lore sells an amazing range of nature and science toys, kits and gifts.

Roots and shoots

Bob Davis of Forvie Tree Nursery is the only person you need speak to about wildlife gardening and native plants and trees – sound advice and great plants for your home, school or community project. Contact him at:

South Mains of Auchleuchries, Hatton, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire AB42 OTQ.
Tel: 01358 711292

Scotia Seeds are one of the best sources of native plant seed in Scotland. Excellent advice too!

Things to do

Sign up to Nature Detectives for masses of eco things to do –  from great tick sheets to quizzes, art ideas and online games.

Creative STAR Learning – an inspirational outdoor learning service by Juliet Robertson for educators.

Like food, foraging and all things edible? Click on over to the wonderful Foodie Quine!

The Forestry Commission run seasonal events in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire woodlands. Search their online events listings here.

Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service and Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service also hold hands-on events for families on their reserves.