Tag Archives: nature awareness

Wild Foods of the Forest – the good forager

           Good foraging reminds us we are part of nature

Autumn is my favourite season of the year; I enjoy the changing colours of the woodlands, dewy spider webs and especially the ‘wild food’ treasures hung brightly within hedgerows. ‘Blackberrying’ is often one of our first experiences of nature. Even toddlers quickly learn how to identify blackberry fruits!

Foraging for wild foods is a wonderful activity for getting outdoors in all weathers to learn about and connect with nature. It increases our observational and sensory skills and deepens our relationship to the natural world. Continue reading Wild Foods of the Forest – the good forager

Fledgling birds

An unwary blackbird chick will need to be fed by its parents for several days after leaving the nest

Whilst many baby birds are only now eagerly poking their heads out of nests, some parent birds are already encouraging reluctant youngsters to leave the safety of the nest. Most of our common woodland and garden birds such as robins, blackbirds, starlings and blue tits are feeding their hungry fledglings and May is a good time to observe fat fluffy chicks taking their first ‘hop and flap’ into the wider world. Here are some activities to learn about the marvels of nest building, eggs and baby birds. Continue reading Fledgling birds

A Woodland Invitation

Spot the treecreeper
                                         Spot the treecreeper

January is a quiet month after all the New Year festivities and in terms of wildlife it feels a bit bleak, with trees stripped bare of leaves and many animals in hibernation, the woods seem to be in a deep slumber.

Not surprisingly, January is a month associated with deep reflection as we look back at the year departed and look forward with new hopes. In Greek mythology Janus, for which January is named, is the god of beginnings, transitions and endings. Janus is depicted as having two faces, to look at the future and to the past. We also need time to stop and reflect, and nature can provide the perfect medium to do this. Read on for some ‘woodland therapy’ ideas. Continue reading A Woodland Invitation

Winter Trees

Trees in winter - discover an upside down world
             Trees in winter – discover an upside-down world

The New Forest’s woodlands become different places in the winter. Leaves fall from deciduous trees, in a myriad of autumn colours, to reveal bare branches and twigs with pointy buds. Suddenly leafless, this is the best time to study the shapes and silhouettes of trees; the ancient oaks look bent and wrinkled whilst silver birch look slender and smooth. Here are some fun ideas to help ID and learn about trees in winter: Continue reading Winter Trees

Nature inspired autumn land art

Where does a Leaf Cat go when the wind blows? Don't forget to take a photo of your land art
Where does a Leaf Cat go when the wind blows? Don’t forget to take a photo of your land art.

Autumn is my favourite time of the year to be outdoors exploring the New Forest; foraging for juicy blackberries, collecting fallen crab apples and enjoying the season’s changing colours. It’s also a wonderful time to create some amazing land art – all you need are leaves and a creative imagination. Continue reading Nature inspired autumn land art

Moth Mania

This ‘Old Lady’ visited our sugar trap.
                    This ‘Old Lady’ visited our sugar trap.

Moths are fab – not drab! They are as brightly coloured and patterned as their day-flying relatives, and come in all shapes and sizes. With an amazing 2,500 different types of moths, compared to 58 different butterflies in the UK, looking for moths and experiencing their world at night is a magical and wonderful way to learn about nature. For fun ‘mothing’ techniques read on. Continue reading Moth Mania

Focus on feathers

Collect moulted feather for identification or simply for their varied beauty
Collect moulted feathers for identification or simply for their varied beauty

Feathers are unique to birds. Strong, yet light and flexible, a single feather is a thing of great beauty. From July until late summer is a good time to look for feathers when adult birds are moulting: a process of shedding old feathers and growing new ones. Not surprisingly many birds are looking a bit shabby after the efforts raising their young, and are now growing new, strong, warm feathers for the winter. Look for moulted feathers on the ground and try out these activity ideas. Continue reading Focus on feathers