As I write this blog we have just had our third month of the new Woodland Explorers club for children and families which is held in Plymbridge Woods. The monthly Saturday club has been greeted with great enthusiasm and support from the children and parents alike.
The club has been set up as part of the Plymouth Woodland Project, a city wide heritage lottery funded project aimed at getting the local communities, schools and organisations outdoors and into their local woodlands. In Plymouth we have 40% green space, 20% of which is woodland, so by using a combination of 50 things to do before your 11 ¾, a community scientist from the School of Biological Sciences and bush craft skills from the National Trust team we are able to produce a year long programme of themed topics that families can do together to encourage them to use this wonderful outdoor space Plymouth has. Using a variety of activities we can show children and grown ups alike that learning about trees, plants and wildlife and the great outdoors can be fun and exciting.
This years themes were chosen by using the 50 things campaign which means that each month the children can collect at least three stickers and we are getting them started on the scrapbook. Not only do they enjoy collecting stickers each month but it also encourages them to want to attend on a regular basis. They can also join the Childrens University or use their existing passports if they are already members. We hope that as the club grows the children themselves will take on the task of choosing the monthly themes and activities. So next year we will have a whole new programme of events decided by the club members themselves. To give you an idea of how that works in May we did wild flower surveys and a flower trail through the woods followed by colour pallets and for 50 things we did grass trumpets and wild art, in June its tree surveys with leaf crowns, leaf imprints and 50 things is climbing trees, catch a falling leaf and look inside a tree.
It’s a FREE morning of activities with refreshments and we love it when the whole family come along too. Just remember you will get dirty and sometime wet so come prepared. If you would like to come along with your children contact Steph Rodgers on 07880772662 or Alison Smith through the website www.plymouthwoodlandproject.org.uk
The programme for the rest of 2014 looks like this:
June 7th – All about trees
July 12th – Mini bio-blitz
Aug 9th – Name that Butterfly
Sept 13th – Birds and their homes
Oct 11th – Mystical woodlands
Nov 15th – Orienteering trail
Dec 13th – Holly and Ivy craft work