Every cloud has a silver learning for children at a Forres nursery, who have found an creative way to capitalise on the recent devastation caused by severe weather.
The youngsters at the Rainbow childcare and education centre plan to make use of a huge tree which was felled by the wind as the latest addition to their outdoor classroom.
They asked the couif they could use the fallen giant for their lessons – and the local authority said it would be thrilled to see it put to good use.
Manager Denise Gibbon said the gale force scything of the enormous lime tree next to the war memorial had brought an unexpected boost for the team redeveloping the nursery’s garden areas into outdoor learning facilities.
Mrs Gibbons said: “We want it so the children have something to walk along — a length of tree trunk — so they can use it to balance on, sit on, or read a story.
“Last week, the topic of conversation was the gales. A lot of it was about parents being up in the middle of the night, tying down trampolines, and the children were really excited about it. So, we decided to take the kids to go and see the tree that had fallen opposite us.
“Our garden has been an ongoing project, and whatever we get we get for ourselves, so we are always on the look-out.
“The council’s park officer said we can have as much as we want, so that’s great.”
A council spokesman said: “If representatives from the Rainbow Childcare group can make use of the tree for their outdoor activities we would be happy to help.
“This lime tree was one of a spectacular avenue of trees and has formed part of the Forres landscape for many years, so it would be good to see it put to good local use now it’s fallen.”
The Rainbow centre, which caters for two to five-year-olds, was given a glowing report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) in 2013 for its “high quality of children’s outdoor learning experiences”.