WEST FIFE'S first outdoor nursery opened its doors officially this week within the grounds of the Fordell Firs Scout Centre.

The Little Bugs Nursery offers a place where youngsters can experience nature and learn from plants and insects while allowing them to play and be creative with natural resources.

With an 18-foot hand-crafted yurt for quiet time and to escape from the rain, the facility will carry out an extensive range of activities in the surrounding woodland.

Local councillor David Barratt performed the opening ceremony and owner, Dalgety Bay teacher Louise Licznerski, was delighted to have the nursery open officially.

"It was nice to celebrate eventually and just have people here that helped us on our journey," she said. "We had quite a lot of parents and families that came down to show grandparents and stuff. It was really nice as these things haven't been happening."

The nursery has spaces for 32 children – 10 under-threes and 22 pre-schoolers – and has nine members of staff working with the youngsters.

"We have an excursion on most days," explained Louise. "We have big tractor tyres and car tyres and straw bales that the children use to build things. It is all child-led and they decide what they want to do.

"We have got our water wall which is a big hit. They re-arrange pipes to channel out the water in different directions. We also have our mud kitchen and have planted some herbs and have just started our own nursery garden as well where we have planted some flowers.

"We have 45 acres of Fordell Firs estate which we can use. We have been building dens out in the woods, we took hammocks out and got them to tie the knots for the hammocks, and gathered leaves to do leaf printing. It has all been really good and busy."

The nursery is hoping to build links with the Scouts Scotland at Fordell Firs and is already developing plans to set up an after-school facility.

Louise added: "The Scouts are coming in and help us develop. Moving forward, we would want to work with the Scouts a lot more. They are running more activities with younger children and want us to pilot a lot of these activities.

"We have just put in a variation to the Care Inspectorate to ask if we could extend numbers to pick up for after-school club and we can use the Scout facilities for this as well."