Children: Craigdon Mountain Sports in Aberdeen and Inverurie and Cotswold Outdoor Aberdeen sell some outdoor clothing for children. Online, I like Didriksons, Little Adventure Shop, Little Trekkers, Muddy Puddles, Raindrops, Skogstad and Waterproof World.
Warm hands and feet really make a difference to how long tots are out in cold weather so invest in cosy gloves, boots and hats.
Mitts are easier to put on tots than gloves. Didriksons and Raindrops sell fleece-lined waterproof mitts that allow children to play in ice, mud and snow. Top tip – take an old cloth out with you in the winter. Kids’ hands get really cold quickly when wet. Drying them as soon as you can will keep them warmer and you all outdoors for longer!
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. My favourite style however are lightweight foam wellies with removable liners that you can wash. Strangely they have no branded name but you should find them online by searching for “kids Demar EVA lightweight wellies”. Let me know if you get stuck!
Top tip – waterproof trousers are better outside, rather than being tucked into, wellies and use the elastic footstrap if you have them. This keeps the rain and snow out.
Hats with earflaps, often known as trapper hats, keep ears and cheeks warm in even the worst of weathers – a good style for kids who won’t usually keep hats on. I recommend Didrikson’s Biggles hat.
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 brands such as Didriksons or Seasalt which look good as well as being warm. If you suffer from cold toes try neoprene wellies – Muck Boots or Grubs are two good brands. Pac boots such as Sorel are also really warm. If you want a more stylish pair of long boots then the type known as “country boots” not only look good but are warm and waterproof. Well-known makes include Ariat, Dubarry and Dublin.
A pair of waterproof trousers makes a real difference in cold weather. 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 babywearing jackets such as Mamalila.
Bits and bugs
Insect Lore sells an amazing range of nature and science toys and gifts.
Roots and shoots
Scotia Seeds are one of the best sources of native plant seed in Scotland. Excellent advice too!
Things to do
Sign up to Tree Tools for Schools 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!
Forestry and Land Scotland (previously the Forestry Commission Scotland) run seasonal events in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire woodlands. Search their online events listings here.