Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter Egg and Nut hunt, sausage eating and Storytelling!

Making the fire!
A beautifully finished crown
What an amazing day today in the woods! We had so much fun and such variety! it was a jam packed day and it seemed that no one sat down for even a minute - apart from when needing to roast sausages or make crowns and masks. Lots of families came down to the Easter egg and nut hunt which started at 11am. The weather was glorious and it held out all day! 
Easter bunny!
Earwig on crown...can you spot it
 We started the day making Easter Crowns in the bell tent. It was incredibly hot in there so we didn't last long! There were many different kinds of crowns - Jack made a Ninja band and Megan made a beautiful simple crown with moss and Mathilde stuck a dead earwig on hers! We then went to make a fire! Many of the children had done this before and yet they all really enjoyed trying it again and getting involved. They counted how long it would take them each to light it with a flint and some did it straight away and others took a lot longer!  After making the crowns we went and got ready to do the Easter egg hunt, which took us all the way to lunch time. We went everywhere in the woods and the children left no stone unturned as they looked for eggs, for chicks and for yellow markers to tell them where the Easter bunny had been and where he might be found! Sounds of squeeling and delight could be heard throughout the woods every time a chick was found and an egg or two uncovered.


Beautiful mentoring in process!
All the children were very careful of the bluebells as well and treated them with utmost respect. They completely understood the need for leaving the bluebells protected as much as possible and were absolutely brilliant in avoiding the fenced off areas. The Easter Egg hunt went in and out of the Rhodes and at times we ended up on our knees crawling through them - well, the adults did! At the end we even found the Easter bunny hiding in the thicket with a huge basket of eggs for all the children and adults too.
Story telling!!


We went back to camp to check out our goodies. Some people had eggs and chicks, others had found rabbit fur and stag beatles! There was a little something for everyone, and there were what seemed like hundreds of sausages for everyone as well.
We all ate sausages and wonderful lemon drizzle cake (THANK YOU Trish, what would we do without you) and there were also some very beautifully made chocolate cornflake cakes with gorgeous little easter libunnies and easter eggs on. There were children of all ages and even then littlelest ones really enjoyed themselves!
Nuts for the Nutter!

Dinosaur head!

After lunch there was another hunt to go on, but this time it was nut hunt! It was all about finding nuts lito identify what sort of mice might be nibbling them! There was some seriously brilliant nut nibbling identification and collecting going on. We didn't find any mice, but there were plenty of holes they could have been hiding in. We did however a find a dinosaur and it was very growly and made lots of noise! Mathilde fell in love with it and did not want to leave it at the end of the day, but we did persuade her in the end!  
We also found spiders, wood lice, worms and a really wonderful snail that came out of its shell to say hello. There were also plenty of ticks to be found and we are hoping that we have all avoided them attaching to us!
Only time will tell!
Mr Snail!
After the great nut hunt we went and sat in the silver birch clearing towards the edge of the wood where the sun was beaming down on us. We were so lucky to have Clare Viner with us who tells the most wonderful stories and she sat with us and painted wonderful pictures with words as she told the story of the grandmother spider who brought fire to humans, and after, the story of Bethusta the young girl who dances with the the white lady of the silver birch woods whilst she ought to be spinning wool for the market instead. The children were really enthralled and got involved in the stories as they were being told. Spinning around and around in the clearing until they were dizzy, singing the song she sang as she spun or raising their hands and flying like an eagle. It was brilliant to watch and to take part in and we hope that Clare will come and do some more stories in the woods soon.
Wood nymph!
After a very exciting day we finished around 3.30pm. The sun was still shining, the cakes had pretty much been eaten and there were only a few sausages left. The dogs were at home so there was no one to steal the sausages.
Nut hunting!
It was an absolutely fantastic day. It was so much fun! I loved being able to take pictures, and hope that I have been able to capture some of the gorgeous moments that we all shared. If any of the families that were there would like copies of the pictures, please email me on and I will share a link with you on Picasa.

Thank you so much to everyone who came! 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Roots and Boots....a very successful day!

This is what it looked like before the Roots and Boots guys got stuck in....they worked their socks off literally all day, that is the adults....the children...well we didn't see much of them, they had their own fire! Not sure why as ours reached over 6 foot at one point!!
The heap on the left was the pile we attacked with saws and loppers!

 It was a hot fire!! 

Light was at the end of the tunnel on the massive pile, we had climed the mountain and found day light the other took all day!
Reflecting at the end of the day...we kept saying that was it, no more cutting and putting on the fire, but we ALL kept finding annoying bits to cut and pop on the fire! I was there hours after everyone left until dark keeping an eye on the burning fire. A brilliantly successful day & THANK YOU to those that turned up with clean nice clothes & sorry you went home with holes in tops, hats and burnt hair!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Rowan peaking out

The first signs of the hedgerow plants are  actually growing!
Well done to everyone who helped us to plant them! THANK YOU!!

HO HO Holiday Playscheme fun!

I just wanted to post these photos of the wild girls on their holiday playscheme last week - there was some serious rhodo bashing and some rather excellent camouflage face painting going on...

There was also some great chocolate orange cake making and sausage eating going on, and even Roo managed to get hold of some sausages too...
They had a fabulous time, and even Louise had her facepainted - one of the girls gave her a black eye! I think even Roo had something on, as her hair was a little bit pink on the top of her head!
Brilliant day - loads of fun - the Wild Girls definetely ruled!!! 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bluebell Poetry Competition - Closing Date for entries 15th May 2011

If you would like to enter this competition and write a poem about bluebells please send it in to by 15th May 2011.
The one we love the most (from each age range) will be published on the blog and there  may also be other prizes!
There are two age ranges, under 18's and over 18's. So, all you parents out there and aspiring poets, please send your poems in too!
  • The poem can be as long or short as you like 
  • It has to be about a bluebell or bluebells
That's it!
Get writing!

A little Bluebell info:
Bluebell - Latin Name - Agraphis nutans - Non Scripta
The old name was actually Agraphis nutans, the first part "Agraphis" meant "unmarked - or not written on" - which really is the same as the more modern version of the name that was used "Non Scriptus" - really alluding to the clear blue colour - with no markings on - unlike the traditional hyacinth. The second part of the name "Nutans" - means "nodding,"a reference to the dangling flowers. Sometimes infact the plant is called Nodding Squill
Bluebell - Latin Name Endymion - Greek Myth

In Greek mythology there was a young man called "Endymion" who chose to sleep forever and never aged.. Some versions of the myth say that Endymion was visited by a moon goddess Selene, who fell in love with him and every month she visited the cave where he slept, she shirked here duties as a moon goddess, (guiding the moon through the heavens) this accounts for the phases of the moon. Some writers suggest that bluebells help to promote a dreamless sleep - like that of Endymion's sleep
Celtic Times - Bluebells
Celtic legend has it that the bluebell was known as a fairy flower which was dangerous. There are tales of Celtic heroes, Merlin and King Arthur, who are still sleeping somewhere in a cave - they are supposed to be lying in wait to wake up when Britain needs them.
Other Names
Also known as Bell Bottle, Blue Bonnets and Ring o’Bells.

Symbol of Botanical Society
These tiny flowers are the symbol of the Botanical Society of the British Isles.
The Law
In Britain it is illegal, under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, to sell plants of H. non-scripta; and it is illegal to dig up any plant in the wild without the permission of the landowner.


The Bluebell, by Anne Bronte

I really love this poem - even if it is not a very happy one about bluebells...

Bluebell, The
by Anne Brontë
A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Yet I recall not long ago
A bright and sunny day,
'Twas when I led a toilsome life
So many leagues away;

That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed.

Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea,
My heart was not so heavy then
As it was wont to be.

Less harassed than at other times
I saw the scene was fair,
And spoke and laughed to those around,
As if I knew no care.

But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower,
A single sweet bluebell.

Whence came that rising in my throat,
That dimness in my eye?
Why did those burning drops distil --
Those bitter feelings rise?

O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood's hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,

Those sunny days of merriment
When heart and soul were free,
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
That loved and cared for me.

I had not then mid heartless crowds
To spend a thankless life
In seeking after others' weal
With anxious toil and strife.

'Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
That never may return!'
The lovely floweret seemed to say,
And thus it made me mourn.

Easter Play Schemes and events

Bluebells by Peter J Hosey -
Wildflower photography

We are having so much fun in the woods at the moment and the whole of the easter holidays has been spent creating and playing, all in the woodland. We have now cleared a wide track going down into the clearing so that we can get all the important things into the clearing for our play! These include water and food of course, for where would we be without the sausages? We have also made a lovely entrance to the woods so that someone's Land Rover no longer gets stuck in the mud! It also means that cars can come in and turn around without getting lost there forever.
We have also been fortunate to start to see the carpet of bluebells being laid by some very nifty nymphs and fairies and there is every chance that they will be out by Easter sunday. There may well be some for the easter egg hunt too on 21st April which will make the woods look even more beautiful than they do already.
We heard on the radio yesterday that if you trample on bluebells when they are in foliage they will not continue to grow in the same place next year. So that means that we are going to have to start to be a little careful about where we walk when we are in the woods. It is a bit difficult as there are bluebells every where, but we will have to leave at least a few places untouched so that each year we can continue to enjoy them.
The playschemes for the Easter holidays have been going really well. Today was a girls only day. It was not intentional but that is just how it worked out, so we are having some serious Woodland Girl Power going on and a myriad of things are being achieved, fires are being lit, sausages cooked, a new rope swing is in place and so far the weather has held out too.
We still have a few places left on the play scheme tomorrow and Wednesday 20th April if anyone wants to make a late booking. On 18th April we have the ROOTS AND BOOTS family day which will be great fun! We are going to get loads of the rhodedendron cleared which will be great! Don't forget the EASTER EGG AND THE GREAT NUT HUNT on 21st April either! This too is a family day so bring everyone you know and your mum's and dad's and sisters and brothers. Children must be accompanied by an adult. If you would like to come to any of these events please just let us know that you intend to come, so that we can make sure that the chickens have laid enough eggs and the rabbits too have been doing their job. We would hate for there not to be enough for everyone that would like to come. Contact Louise on just to let her know.
We hope to see you sometime over Easter, but if not, please have a wonderful and wild woodland Easter anyway!
Wild Wishes!!