Dounans Centre is one of a number of Scottish Outdoor Education Centres (SOEC), and is located just to the northeast of Aberfoyle, in the Trossachs.
The centres were built built during the period from 1939 to 1940, and as a result were used to house evacuees from the cities during World War II. In addition to large numbers of Scottish children, the centres had substantial groups from the continent – notably from the Netherlands. At Dounans there is a plaque from these Dutch evacuees to thank the people of Scotland for the kindness shown to them over the war years. centre can be seen in aerial photographs of the area, taken by the RAF during 1948.
Refurbishment of Dounans took place between 1986 and 1987, when the old open dormitory buildings, which used to accommodate 48 children and their teachers, were split into units of 12, each being provided with its own entrance, showers, and toilets.
SOEC has operational centres at Belmont (Meigle, Perthshire), Broomlee (West Linton, Edinburgh), Loaningdale (Biggar, Lanarkshire), with a non-operational site at Glengonnar (Abington, South Lanarkshire, on the banks of the Clyde), pending development.
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