wildlife

The Wildlife Trusts are running a challenge for people to spend June connecting with nature. I’m keeping a diary of how I spend my wild days.

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“Play is a biological necessity that puts the child in the driving seat.”
The play theorist Bob Hughes inspired the recent Forest School Association conference with his words about play. There were challenges in that speech for us all too. He talked about when children’s play becomes sexualised and violent.  Play which makes us, the adult uncomfortable. He said that if we truly support the play process then we should allow it to ‘play’ out. That a child needs to have a range of experiences for their healthy development and the adult should not intervene with this process.  For me and for others at the conference this conundrum is manifested regularly in the woods when we see a child’s interaction with living things and when those thing are killed or harmed because of the interaction.

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I love listening to the birds. For many years I’ve not know who I was listening too although I can know pick out more than I used to. Last year I was introduced to Jon Young’s introduction to the five voices of the birds. Rather than focus on who it is he asks ‘What are they saying?’  This is so much more fun to try and work out by yourself especially if you don’t have an expert on hand. What sort of mood are they in? It will be different depending on whose voice you can hear, but the question is what are they saying?

For the little song birds there are in general five voices. As I listened to Jon Young explaining them I tried to remember by counting them off on my fingers. That’s when I realised my fingers held the key to my memory;

Voices of Birds 6 [..read more..]

Bug Hotel Book 1I have spent an inspiring couple of days in Scotswood Natural Community Garden. It’s a stunning place on so many levels; just two to three acres in very urban part of Newcastle, thriving with trees, flowers, birds, insects, foxes, ponds and people. [..read more..]

forest school, outdoor play, nature, children, doodleI thought I’d share with you a little doodle I had in the last edition of the Forest School Association newsletter. This is based on something that happened with a group I was working with a few years ago.

When you follow the children’s ideas you end up in very interesting places!

Tracking tracks 8

Tracking tracks in fresh snow

Snow that is covering lots of the UK at the moment and when I’ve been out and about I can’t help keeping my nose to the ground looking for tracks. Walking up on the moors on Sunday (before it got so deep) we noticed a regular little round regular mark, keeping pace with some human footprints. [..read more..]

Oooh, I was just looking for an creature footprint ID sheet that I have been using since I worked at Herefordshire Nature Trust. I couldn’t find it in my filing system anywhere, but I remembered there was a copy in the the PDF that went with the WildPlay Kitbag that I complied with Jo Polack in 2005 (ish I am a bit rubbish with dates!).

www.herefordshirewt.org/wildplay/downloads/WildplayKitbag.pdf [..read more..]

child woods slug

what does it smell like? how does it feel? what do you think it eats?

Often on training courses, when I ask what people want to get out of the day the response is that they want to know the names of more things in the woods. [..read more..]