Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Taking the Wild-time Challenge 50 things No.22 - Look inside a tree

 A post from Rebecca, our volunteer member blogger, about trying our 50 things Wild-time challenge. She's going writing about our adventures with her family all summer.

 Here's Rebecca and family trying No.22 of our 50 things - Look inside a tree.

Basildon Park textile conservation appeal

Monday, 29 July 2013

Taking the Wild-time challenge - No.19 Play Pooh Sticks, Mottisfont, Hampshire

A post from Rebecca, our volunteer member blogger, about trying our 50 things Wild-time challenge. She's going writing about our adventures with her family all summer.

Some of the bedtime stories that BT, LT and I enjoy most are A A Milne’s collection of tales of a rather chubby bear, Winnie the Pooh, and his dear friends in the Hundred Acre wood.  Somehow they never fail to make the woods seem full of adventure and the promise of meeting some old chums.

Walking through Morgaston Woods on a recent outing, our eyes were peeled, hoping to spot a heffalump but sadly no heffalumps were to be found, nor any woozles neither.  However, we might have had more luck spotting an owlet nesting at the base of a tree if the signs at The Vyne were to be believed!  With none of our fictional woodland friends found, we decided to set up camp overlooking the lake.  Picnicking through sunshine and showers and fortified by sandwiches (no honey – sorry Pooh!) we then spent some time searching for the perfect ‘equipment’ for our sporting event and next #50Things challenge: Playing Pooh Sticks.

A perfect bridge found, the rules of the game were somewhat hastily explained and little sticks were at the ready.  BT and LT were so excited that I am pretty sure that they threw their sticks in before I had a chance to start the race!  Rushing to the other side to see whose stick came from the under the bridge first, reminded me of how the simplest things in life are often the best.  I think that could be one of the loveliest aspects of the  #50Things project – just children being children in the countryside.  BT, ever the competitive one among us, was desperate to see her stick sail past the little weir whilst LT whooped with delight, shouting 'Mine, mine' and 'Again, again'!  I am not sure that BT, LT and I are up to World Pooh Sticks championship standard yet but we happily
passed away an afternoon before heading in search of a hot chocolate.

If like us, you are a big fan of Winnie the Pooh and his adventures with Christopher Robin, then you might like to head down to  Mottisfont in Hampshire.  Until 15 September , you will find an exhibition of E H Shepard’s charming illustrations and a whole raft of activities including Winnie the Pooh’s Great ‘Expotition’ which allow one and all to follow in a certain fuzzy old bear’s footsteps.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Taking the Wild-time Challenge No. 24 - Go on a walk barefoot

We're also trying the #50things #wildtime challenge as a team in the office. Grown ups can't enter the competition, but they can join in the fun. Here's Alex T trying a barefoot walk. 1 down, 25 to go!


#50things Friday and Taking the Wild-time Challenge No. 31 - Hunting for Bugs

 A post from Rebecca, our volunteer member blogger, about trying our 50 things Wild-time challenge. She's going writing about our adventures with her family all summer.

It’s #50things Friday!  Each week we’ll be doing a little round up of all the challenges that you have been having a go at and sharing pictures of some of your adventures.  What #50things will you and your family be getting up to this weekend?

BT, LT and I have been out with our magnifying glasses this week - No.31 Hunt for bugs

Armed with a book bought at the fabulous shop at The Vyne, we took to the woods, to see what we could find. 

Take a little look at what we managed to spot: beetles, butterflies and even some wiggly worms underneath a log.  All on just one walk!!!  Amazing how many wee minibeasties you can spot if you are hunting for them!  BT, LT and I had such fun trying to identify them all with our new book.

Now here’s what some of you have been up to already!

@chickensandkids: We had a fabulous adventure last week at another @southeastNT place - #Woolbeding... fb.me/2wuVEOq1H

@NTIghthamMote: Loving these! New children's lunch boxes at Mote. Sarnies, snacks+ colouring, trails and seeds 2 plant! #50things...

If climbing trees is on your list, then get yourself down to The Vyne this weekend as they are having a Tree Climbing day!  The best way to complete No.1 of #50things and as @talkofthetrees @inhabitthetrees say Climbing trees is one of the most fun things to do IMHO. ;o) #50things #wildtime

Fab weather for a picnic at the moment!  The Surrey Hills have many a perfect picnic spot where you can also complete No.2 Roll down a really big hill – @NicNak569: outstanding beauty in the Surrey Hills and most definitely one of my #specialplaces

Snail race, anyone?  Get yourself down to @MordenHallPkNT All that rain last night has made the snails come out, perfect for setting up a snail race #50things pic.twitter.com/FuA90G21Yl

Don’t forget the NT are running their Wild-time challenge – can you complete 25 out of the #50things over the summer?  We’re having a go…come and join us!  Download your Wild-time pack here https://www.50things.org.uk/ and don’t forget to tweet @southeastNT with your #50things pics.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Taking the Wild-time Challenge - No 3. build a den - Ham House, Surrey

A post from Rebecca, our volunteer member blogger, about trying our 50 things Wild-time challenge. She's going writing about our adventures with her family all summer.

On a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon, Big Tot and I decided to embark on the first of our outdoor adventures.  We have been looking forward to tackling some of the challenges on the list of 50 Things to do before you're 11¾ for some time.  I will admit that neither of us are the ‘explorer’ sort but somehow the 50 Things have inspired us to have a go at activities that have miraculously drawn us away from our books and the telly!  

Our location of choice: Ham House, a 17th-century  treasure, tucked away in a sleepy corner of SW London.  A house with a wealth of stories both upstairs and downstairs and a walled kitchen garden where you can actually get up, close and personal with fruit and vegetables, sampling them in the café too.  You can definitely see why Ham House is one of London and the South East’s National Trust gems.  

Our first challenge: Den building

The very helpful gardeners at Ham House had been busy cutting back and pruning the trees, providing us with the ideal materials for building our very own den!  As we turned the corner, we could see that The Orangery was alive with children of all ages and their parents fetching sticks and creating the perfect hideout.  Not knowing where to start, BT and I took our lead from a 9 year old boy who took it upon himself to instruct us in the art of finding the right branches to begin our master build.  When asked if this was the first time he had built one, he replied: 'Oh no! I love making dens and hiding from my sisters!BT and I quickly decided that he was the ‘man’ to follow - nothing like being taught by a professional!   A few false starts and BT did wonder (out loud I might add) if what Mummy really ought to have packed, was some rather useful sticky tape to stop the branches from falling over at every turn!  

We persevered and finally had a den to be proud of; not totally camouflaged but BT and I were rather pleased with our handiwork!  One of the most wonderful bits of the whole afternoon was watching BT set up her own tea party inside.  Such a wonderful idea from the volunteers at Ham House to include a little basket complete with cups, saucers and spoons.  LT would have been more than happy to have joined her sister in the den, but on this occasion she was not invited!  BT had created her own secret hideaway complete with afternoon tea!

Top tips – Remember you are not building a house, just go for it!  No DIY experience needed!