Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Earth Trust

Last weekend we were invited to help The Northmoor Trust
celebrate the changing of their name to The Earth's Trust see We spent two days basking in the sunshine looking out over Oxfordshire feeling winter was finally blowing away. Families from far and wide made a menagerie of magical stick and clay creatures from scary dinosaurs to beautiful birds. It was lovely to see children as young as 10 months old getting stuck into the squidgy feeling of clay between their fingers as well as teenagers, parents and even grandparents focused on making intricate creations and mythical beasts. Many thanks must go to everyone at the Earth Trust for putting on such a wonderful occasion.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sounds Like Summer event at Aston Rowant Nature Reserve

Thanks to some more beautiful weather, we had a wonderful day lying in the sunshine, looking out over the chalk escarpment towards Oxford watching the red kites glide and the clouds scurry across the patchwork of fields below. We listened to some fabulous music from various bands and had a go at making our own quirky musical instruments such as tin can guitars and natural windchimes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BBC Springwatch event at Aston Rowant Nature reserve

Almost 2000 people visited Aston Rowant Nature reserve this Saturday and joined in all the fun. Natural England kindly lent us a fantastic tent, not for shelter but to provide valuable shade as the temperatures soared! Probably about 200 or more children visited Going Wild and made a fantastic selection of Tree People who apparently live hidden in the trees on the reserve. There were vampire monsters, ugly sister monsters, fabulous fairy princesses and terrifying zombie boggarts with sharp blackthorn fangs! Every tree person created had a different character and many told us stories of the adventures their creature had had in the woods!

We had a fantastic day, of imagination and creativity all inspired by the natural world. Best of all their tree people were made from natural materials gathered whilst on a walk, there was not a bit of plastic in sight and hours of entertainment came absolutely free!


We have just come back from 3 days at Naturefest. The new outdoor event that celebrates the rich diversity of the Natural World. Set in the beautiful grounds of the Bentley Wildfowl and motor museum near Brighton people all committed to nature gathered together to share their skills and experiences. Organisations and individuals from country pursuits, wildlife, conservation, bushcraft, forestry and green woodwork, primitive living skills and traditional country crafts participated many offering hands on activities and demonstrations.

After a very soggy start on the Friday the weather cheered up and everyone felt much more excited about celebrating being outdoors! We had a wonderful time and loads of creative children visited us and tried out a few activities from our new book.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yellow-Lighted Bookshop Going Wild event

To celebrate their 2nd anniversary the Yellow-Lighted bookshop in Tetbury, Gloucestershire put together a small programme of events in May. They asked us to run a "Going Wild" event with a few activities from our latest book "Make it Wild". Unlike many other book signings or meet the author events we decided to get the audience really involved and run a hands on activity outside!

On a wonderful spring morning last week about 20 families gathered in a beautiful little park in Chalford. Bounded on two sides by streams surrounded by woods full or flowering wild garlic , it definitely had a "wild" feel about it. We signed books, drank tea and ate delicious cakes then set children and adults to work making fantastic stick men made from clay,twigs and leaves. They decorated them with natural pigments made from chalk and red earth and designed and built intricate rafts and crafts made from natural materials to transport their people on journeys to foreign shores down stream. There was a wonderful shallow area ideal to test out their creations and see if they floated then, for added excitement (and there was lots) we challenged everyone to a boat race. Excited children (and adults) lined the banks and many unable to contain their enthusiasm made a plunge for the icy water! So many boats lined the start line that we had to run two heats, however no one really worried too much about who won they were having such fun running behind their boats getting totally drenched!

Luckily parents had suspected how it might end up and had bought plenty of spare clothes and everyone settled down to a glorious picnic lunch warmed by the May sunshine. Everyone seemed to have had a perfect day "Going Wild"!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Make it Wild book launch

On a very beautiful Friday afternoon we launched "Make it Wild" our 3rd book, alongside Natural England's "Let's go Wild" family activity programme.

More than 200 children and their families turned up to enjoy the sunshine and have a go at many of the activities from the book. They tested their design skills by making flying machines out of sticks and newspaper, made clay Boggart puppets, wind kites, willow and wool insects, moulded scary clay faces in the trees to surprise unsuspecting walkers, had a go at painting with natural pigments, made beautiful felt pictures, went on an adventure trail through the woods and ancient sunken ways on Aston Rowant's Nature reserve and ate lots of cake!

It was wonderful to see so many people, parents and children having such a wonderful time without a screen or bit of technology in sight!

Our thanks go to all the people who helped make it such a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Make it wild

We have teamed up with Natural England and are launching our new book - Make it Wild 101 things to make and do outdoors, alongside their new family engagement programme - Let's Go Wild! at Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve on Friday 16th April. We have planned an afternoon packed with activities from the book and hope many families will join us for a fun afternoon in a most beautiful setting.