Due to the current situation all events have been cancelled. We will keep the site updated and keep everyone informed of any changes.
However.....we do have our free resources page which has lots of workbooks to keep you occupied and to aid school learning.
You could also try some of these nature themed activities at home:
- Take part in a wildlife survey. There are lots going on at the moment and irecord or living records are great to upload any photos and sightings of wildlife. It helps give people a great idea of what's happening on private land such as gardens. These are untapped survey areas which provide great data to what's going on.
- Going on a minibeast safari! So many ways to do this. There are pitfall traps, however these aren't always the best. THey can require more effort to install and need to be checked regularly as the insects have no chance of escaping. You can get a white sheet and shake a tree, see what you find. If however you don't feel like disrupting them from their homes then you can try putting something on the grass or nice damp leafy areas. We put reptile mats down purposely in these nice damp leafy areas as it easily enables up to lift the mat up and see the mass of invertebrates living under it. If you're lucky you may even get to see a slow worm going after a slug!
- Do some planting. It's still nice and easy to purchase plant pots and seeds online, plus it's amazing for wildlife. When our runner beans are in flower they are always buzzing with bees. Great way to learn how plants grow and what they need to thrive.
- Feed the birds. This has become one of my favourite activities in the past year. I love birds. Be careful when purchasing bird seeds as some can contain fillers which are only really chomped on by pigeons. It is worth spending extra on Peter and Paul bird food or visiting CJ wildlife. They have some great information on bird food which is well worth reading about. Also have different food designed to attract certain birds!
- Learn about a species. NHBS has some amazing wildlife books and equipment. It's a dangerous place if you're into wildlife as you just want to buy so much! It's where we get pretty much all of our survey equipment from. Loads of great books on there.
- Have an arty day! You can do flower pressing, leaf rubbings, paintings, create a picture using only items you find on the floor. The opportunities are endless.
- Messy day. I get bored staying all clean and tidy all the time, so what better than to make your own mud sculptures. All you need is soil and water, mix together and voila mud! See if you can make your own hedgehog sculpture. A great activity for kids who love being messy and creative. Part of the messy day you could create flower bombs.
- Create a pond. You may have a huge garden and able to build the biggest most beautiful pond, to make me super jealous, or you may be struggling for space/ have mainly concrete. If you are lucky enough to have a large garden then you can either look at preformed ponds or dig your own and use a liner. It all depends on you. If you have a small area then you can even just use a washing up bowl. Sounds crazy and a bit pointless, but no! I have seen some amazing washing up bowl ponds which have had frogs visiting and breeding in there. Ponds are a great way to bring life to your garden and help your local amphibian population. Trust me when I say you build they will come! We built our ponds and a few months later we had newt eggs in there. The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation trust have loads of information which is well worth a look at.
- Chilling out day. Lie down on the ground. Listen to all the sounds around you. Hopefully it'll be nice and tranquil, however right now I'm trying to block out the sounds of barking dogs. Try and work out which sounds are coming from which birds. Look up at the sky and hopefully there will be some clouds for you to create pictures from.
- Story time. I love making up stories. It's a great way to make wildlife relatable to children. It's another way to help the, to be creative. See if they can write some poems or short stories about animals.
- Feeling active. A great game which we love to play is 'Throw the Stick'. It's exactly as it sounds. Place a stick on the ground, take a few steps back. See who can throw their stick the closest to the stick on the ground. Try building a den!
Night time activities
- Star gazing. On a clear night get out that picture blanket, have a warm beverage, relax and enjoy the stars.
- Bat watching. This is easier and more fun with a bat detector. Check out NHBS for bat detectors. The Magenta is a good one to try out and generally the cheapest (from around £60). Bats generally communicate in frequencies which we're unable to hear. The best time to look for them is just after sunset. To learn more about bats then The Bat Conservation Trust has some great information.
- Exploring! Best place to explore is your own garden (especially at the moment). It's really surprising what comes out at night time. Take a torch with you and just see how active your garden is at night. Some nature reserves may hold night walks, always go on dedicated night walks in areas to ensure safety.
- Mammal watch. This task does require stealth, patience and the ability to stay quiet. There may be a lot of waiting with nothing happening. The other night I sat outside for over an hour before the foxes decided to make an appearance. However it can be well worth it. We've had some magical moments watching the badgers and foxes in the garden.
- Camp out! I don't know what it is, but it's always so fun and exciting sleeping in a tent, even if it is just in your own garden. At least if you need the toilet camping in your garden then you know you don't have far to go.
- Moth surveying. Moths are amazing. They really do not get enough credit. Get a white sheet and a bright torch and see what you get. Keep an eye out for some beetles which like to fly at night! Cockchafers are intriguing things and like to fly from late April until July. There are moth traps which you can buy where you leave them out overnight and check to see what you've got the next morning. This causes me so much excitement and endless pain at trying to work out which moth is which. NHBS has moth traps on their website, but again it's not cheap to get a moth trap. It's worth checking out the 'What's flying tonight' site which will show records in your local area.
- Night sounds. There are some really weird noises you'll hear at night. A lot of the super weird noises will most likely be foxes. Can you hear any owls calling to each other?
- If you had a go at writing stories in the day then use this time to sit outside and read them out loud to each other.
- Chill out. Just sit outside by yourself or with your family and enjoy it! Eat food, stay cozy under a blanket with a warm beverage. Just relax.