After the prolonged wet of Winter it was nice to get out and about in the warm Spring sunshine. The start of the Easter holidays saw a motley group of children (some with beautiful Easter hats), adults and dogs setting off on an Easter egg hunt around Stover Country Park. Our brave volunteers set off to hide the eggs with the younger children in hot pursuit! Trees grew lollipops, the bird hide hid some eggs and empty tree trunks became nests for eggs of the foil wrapped variety. The children had great fun exploring the bushes and trees for hidden treats. The bird life was active all around us with the lake playing host to a wide range of water birds including swans, assorted ducks, Northern divers, gulls and cormorants. In the surrounding mixed woodland birds darted from bushes to trees collecting little bugs and the first caterpillars, whilst woodpeckers could be heard pecking into decaying trees for grubs. Grey squirrels scampered about on the ground foraging before scurrying back up the tree trunks and leaping acrobatically from branch to branch. The Easter egg hunt culminated in the story telling circle where a huge wooden story tellers chair sits majestically before the rows of wooden benches. The children took it in turns to sing songs and tell stories before we headed to the picnic tables in the woods for lunch. The children then had great fun building a camp out of fallen branches before it was time to go.
The following week saw us at Cockington Court Country Park for a crafty workshop using natural resources gathered from the grounds and gardens. Petals and leaves became butterflies and bumblebees whilst discarded feathers became birds once more. We also decorated eggs and made flying paper birds through origami.
Also at Cockington Court is an old walled garden which is currently being restored as part of a community project and we hope to become involved with this.
We run activities in every holiday and as much as possible use the natural world as our resource. The children love it and it brings with it increased understanding and care for their natural world in a world that has dealt them a rough hand in their young lives. Watching them play and engage and getting so much enjoyment lets us know that in our own little way we are making a difference.
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