How to be a winter colour explorer

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Welcome back nature explorers!

January is a quiet month after the Christmas and New Year festivities and gardens and parks can seem empty of wildlife and colour. However, there are things to see and do outdoors – if you know where to look. I like to go exploring and search out different wintertime colours. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Colour matching challenge: Firstly, you need to make your own colour matching chart. In the winter there’s a lot of different shades of green, brown and yellow. Cut out a short strip of white card and using some coloured pencils, pens or crayons make your own wintertime colour charts – just like mine below. You could use both sides of your card.

Now put on a warm jumper, wellington boots and a favourite woolly hat – you’re ready for a colourful outdoor adventure!

Use your colour chart and challenge yourself to find the best colour match in nature. You might notice that there are many different shades of green – ivy, holly and fir. These plants are called evergreen as they do not drop all their leaves in the autumn and stay green through the winter.

Top tip: the front and back of a leaf is often a different colour, and when held up to the light – this might help to make a better colour match.

Once you start looking and observing carefully, you’ll be amazed at all the different colours you can find. Hedgerows for shiny dark green holly leaves and red berries; woodlands for spongy green moss and lichens still attached to fallen branches; heathland for bright yellow gorse flowers. Nature is colourful even in winter!

Winter colour palette / memento: I often like to collect some of the colours that I’ve found to help remind me of my winter walks.

Use a strip of card with double sided sticky tape to stick on small pieces of different natural colours. Greens slowly changing to yellows and then brown; maybe all shades of green or a mix of colours. If your fingers are feeling cold then collect your colours in a paper bag to stick onto your colour palette at home. Just like an artist you can choose and mix your favourite colours.

You might like to use your colour charts and palette to retell your winter colour walk to someone in your family. We are all storytellers!

Wild Heritage 2021