Post Archive 2015

Robin from garden birds study Drawing from Nature December 22, 2015 - The personal benefits we can draw from nature are huge. I find nature itself an endless source of joy and inspiration for my teaching but more importantly in my life itself. Recently whilst quietly observing and sketching a robin that regularly visits my garden I became aware of its large keen eyes, the striking rusty […]
Making a hibernaculum to help keep a frog snug during the winter Surviving the winter – as snug as a bug November 26, 2015 - With temperatures dropping and winter now upon us it’s important to think about how animals cope in the winter and how we can help provide over-wintering habitats. No matter how big or small your school grounds or back garden, you can create features to help shelter and protect wildlife through the cold months. So if […]
Discovering how a mushroom gets it spots The weird and wonderful world of fungi October 28, 2015 - Mushrooms and toadstools are fascinating. Neither plant nor animal, they belong in their own kingdom, the ‘Kingdom of Fungi’ and form a largely invisible world hidden under your feet. It’s the strange fruiting bodies of the fungi that you notice, especially during the wet and mild autumn months, appearing in a wonderful range of colours, […]
A keen but careful blackberry forager! Brambles and blackberries September 28, 2015 - Blackberries must be one of our favourite and most commonly gathered wild food. Easy to recognise, children quickly learn how to identify blackberry fruits and eagerly help gather this annual feast. Foraging for wild foods is a wonderful activity which connects us to the seasons, increases observational and sensory skills and deepens our relationship to […]
Bell heather, Ling and Cross-leaved heath Purple Haze September 6, 2015 - Returning home last week after a long summer break, I was instantly struck by the vast purple haze of the rolling New Forest heathlands. In August the normally muted brown heaths are transformed by the flowering heathers to a landscape rich in shades of purple and pink.  Take a moment and challenge yourself to find […]
Experience of awe - New Forest sunset Reconnecting with nature July 22, 2015 - A great way to truly experience and understand the natural world is to slow down, take a break from our busy lives and reconnect with nature. We often look but don’t see – we forget how to listen to nature and enjoy the beauty of the moment. Here are my top ten New Forest ‘rewilding’ […]
Meet the pond inhabitants - up close! Top tips for pond dips June 24, 2015 - Pond dipping is a fantastic activity but often concerns about safety and a lack of knowledge about pond life identification skills deter people from giving it a go. However by following a few simple tips and guidelines you can safely run an exciting session and enjoy watching children discover the natural wonders of this watery […]
Adder 3 comp Snakes and adders May 20, 2015 - Snakes have often been historically described as ‘cold-blooded, venomous and evil’. Today however many people are fascinated by these intriguing creatures and a sighting of one of our native reptiles, which are in fact secretive and shy, can be very exciting. We can help develop this enthusiasm to educate and nurture a respect for snakes […]
Journey stick Remembering a journey April 26, 2015 - ‘the most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between’ Everyone, especially children, love collecting mementos: special treasures that capture a moment and a memory. I’m always finding acorns, small stones and picked flower heads in my children’s coat pocket or in the bottom of a school bag. […]
Overwinterd Red admiral butterfly Surviving the seasons in stages March 23, 2015 - March is the first month that many of us will spot the colourful flutter of butterfly wings heralding that spring has finally sprung. But their reappearance begs the question – where have they been all winter? Butterflies are insects and unlike mammals and birds need external sources of heat to warm their bodies. This is […]
Variety of ivy Focus on ivy February 21, 2015 - At this time of year when deciduous trees and shrubs are only just beginning to bud, the glossy evergreen leaves of ivy and its tangle of climbing stems really stand out. Common ivy in fact provides a year-round place for a variety of creatures to hide, breed, feed and even hibernate. It is easy to […]
Robin courtesy of Derek Tippetts Feathered friends January 20, 2015 - January can be a wet and uninviting month to explore the outdoors but fortunately it’s great for birdwatching as the cold weather brings birds into gardens, looking for food and shelter.  Most birds will be sporting winter plumage, making each species more recognisable. It’s a perfect time for learning the different colours and behaviour of […]