The Parks Trust Education Centre at Howe Park is a lovely focus for this event as it has a classroom where we could have our society display boards and a great little cafe for tasty snacks and drinks. Outside the centre is a lovely pond with platform set up for pond dipping, although I was rather disappointed to see the size of the signal crayfish the kiddies caught!! The green space around the centre was host to a range of local wildlife organisations including the Wildlife Trust stand where children were making fabulous stick puppets. Once the families had sampled the activities on offer around the centre the local scouts were on hand to direct them into the wood where the trail led them on to yet more fun things to do and see.
Firstly they came upon the RSPB bird ringers and if they got their timing right they might have seen the mass release of a delightful family of long-tailed tits which had been caught in the nets and rung (as these gorgeous little birds travel around together it is important to release them at the same time). Next it was on to our society’s stand where they could have a go at leaf and bark rubbing, the tracks and trails quiz and, even more exciting, have a go at identifying the owners of real live poo!!! The latter activity went down very well as you can imagine especially with small boys, but we did ensure the poo was in sterilised containers and we had alcohol gel on hand just in case!! Also within the wood was a storyteller and other woodland activities.
There were also several wildlife walks on offer lead by our society members, Harry on dragonflies, Martin and Mike on insects and butterflies and Roy on plants.
It was lovely to have so many of the society members turn up on the day and chip in to help – thank you so much to all of you. There is something very special about seeing young children rushing around the place, accompanied by their equally enthusiastic parents, enjoying themselves and absorbing the magic of wildlife in such a beautiful wood.
Click on any of the pictures for a larger image.
Pictures and text kindly supplied by Julie Lane