VISITORS to North Ballochruin Farm will have the chance to see the area in a whole new light when the Woodland Lighting Experience event kicks of next month.
The interactive event at Balfron Station opens on 12 November runs from 4.30pm each day for two weeks (until 25 November) before the environment is re-set to create Santa’s Woodland Experience (27 November to 24 December).
Specially designed digital lighting will bring the woodland to life, accenting the many features of the woodland and enhancing both the treescape and the recesses of the forest floor. The dramatic lighting effects diffuse through the trees, inviting the visitor to experience the 14 acres of woodland as never before.
The events are the brainchild of farmer and woodsman Kenny Hendry who planted the woodland 25 years ago. He tells G63: “The aim was to bring this environment to life for our visitors so they can get a real sense that all around them is ‘alive’ as they walk through the trails.
“Trees are the lungs of the earth. They are living and breathing, constantly growing and changing with the seasons. Then there are the animals, insects, birds and perhaps even the creatures of our imagination that dwell in the forest too. I wanted to capture that, and the lighting does give that sense of something alive and magical with the trees.”
A gentle stroll along the 1.3 km path through 14 acres of woodland takes from 45 minutes to an hour but Kenny is keen to point out that “it’s not a conveyor belt, and visitors can take as long as they like to enjoy the stunning visuals”.
Disabled visitors, and those with mobility issues, are welcome.
“We try our very best to accommodate where we can and, if you have very specific needs, please phone us in advance and let us try to make your visit as easy as we can,” adds Kenny.
“The woodland has a country track that we level and pack down. We’ve found that this can be successfully negotiated by robust wheelchairs and notability scooters designed for outside use.”
Santa’s Woodland Experience became a reality last year after the arrival of grandchildren charged Kenny’s imagination with an idea that Santa could come to visit the woodland every Christmas.
Atmospheric and full of Christmas promise, with twinkling lights and a hand built log cabin for Santa, the event was a sell-out success in its first year and Kenny is keen to ensure the experience continues to be as memorable and magical as possible.
Unlike many other outdoor attractions, weather conditions actually enhance the atmosphere with the lighting effects intensified by cold mists and drizzle while gusting wind animates the whole display. Structure and shapes are revealed in a way they cannot be seen in daylight, and the forest after dark unveils itself to the visitor.
And to keep chills at bay a stand at the entrance will serve locally produced hot pies and hot drinks will be available at the end of the display.
- Tickets should be booked in advance online via www.woodlandexperiences.co.uk or by calling 01360 752052. Group bookings (coaches, private parties etc) are also welcome.
- Monday – Thursday: Adults £10, Children £5, Under 3’s FREE, Family Ticket £28
Friday – Sunday: Adults £14, Children £7, Under 3’s FREE, Family Ticket £40