Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park covers 720 square miles of varying outstanding landscapes and water bodies with diverse habitats ranging from freshwater lochs and rivers to marine coastal environments, forests and woodlands, mountains and moorland. It is of no surprise it is considered of national and international conservation importance in relation to both the natural and cultural heritage. The park opened in 2002 and lies close to 50% of Scotland’s population and receives 7 million visitors a year.
Our business lives and works within the National Park and feels a strong sense of responsibility to motivate environmental awareness so ensuring our clients see us as a role model delivering outdoor education and environmental awareness courses. We believe there needs to flexibility, respectfulness for each other within the community and the area and only then general learning towards common goals are more likely to occur and be implemented. Element Activities values come from a deeper ecology founding as we don’t just offer activities but create a deeper understanding and purpose whether it is forming relationships with nature or awareness of place, this is our main aim.
In this dynamic world, the current day to day battle is to protect the natural environment and sustain ecosystems services including human’s wellbeing. Though humans being a contributor to the destruction of this world, this makes us explore the phenomenon of people’s intrinsic thoughts, motivations, values and beliefs. Major changes are unlikely, however encouraging to take up of greener products and services; or wasteful habitual behaviours will occur. Why do some humans understand this environmental citizenship and naturally adopt a healthy approach to environmental education and try to connect with nature compared to others who see the environment as a static built up safe place? Our business tries to encourage a holistic experience of journeys ‘meaningful experiences’ and unstructured time just being in nature. We include everyone in our learning experiences and take them back to nature. Though skills are important to us, it is not our main purpose, values or motivations behind running the business. Through journeys and ‘just getting out’ we explore and inspire human value from seeing life from natures point of view, respecting and caring for the environment. We are dependent on nature so it’s about time we form a relationship, a connection that will sustain humankind and understand what keeps us alive.
We operate within the National Park and this is important to us as this area of Scotland has stunning landscapes that is accessible and convenient for many people. People will see and discover new places, experience the noise of the bird song, the smell of the pine trees, the rustle of autumn leaves, the views of the amazing hills, lochs and rivers. Throughout the seasons many will encounter varied and diverse wildlife and appreciate all this for themselves on a journey whether it is hillwalking or paddling. For us, we are busy people now and I have come to realise people seek time out to reconnect with what is important to them and that could be for a variety of reasons whether it be to connect to our place in society, economy, environment, political or cultural heritage.