Forging bonds with nature – Children’s Eco club summer forest walk

Over the spring and summer of 2017 we have had the chance to work with Eastwood’s Priory voluntary academy, teaching and learning at the wonderful Eco club which is run by two members of very dedicated staff, Laura Evans and Katherine Mucha. This has been a wonderful experience for us, as it has allowed us to learn how best to interact with children and start to create an educational programme which we can use at other schools!

Before breaking up for the summer holidays we had the chance to accompany the Eco club on their forest walk, playing games, hunting down wildflowers, and identifying trees. But, maybe most importantly getting the children to appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature from tiny bugs to majestic trees.

Mike and Dan from Wildlife & Eco Gardens on the Eco clubs summer forest walk 2017
Mike and Dan from Wildlife & Eco Gardens on the Eco club’s summer forest walk 2017

We have talked, in previous blog posts about the importance of forging bonds with nature at an early age and clubs such as the Priory school’s Eco club is a great way to introduce such lessons into schools, youth groups and similar places.

A respect and love of nature, along with learning about important environmental issues and why biodiversity is so important will help to create compassionate, caring adults who want to look after and appreciate all the fantastic nature we are lucky to have.

Leaf identification game (Eco club forest walk, July 2017)
Leaf identification game (Eco club forest walk, July 2017)

Our walk started at 12, after light rain showers in the morning which threatened to continue into the afternoon. Luckily the rain held off so we could all enjoy the walk without huddling into our raincoats. After a 30 minute walk through Eastwood we arrived at the kissing gate which leads down towards the woods. In this first field we took the chance to have lunch under a majestic oak tree, lots of little bugs joined us for lunch so we had a chance of identifying some insects while we ate! Afterwards we had a lovely walk through the woods and surrounding meadows, where we identified wildflowers and trees ticking them off out spotters work sheet. The walk was broken up with some simple games in the woodlands such as “bat and moth”.

Mike and Dan from Wildlife and Eco Gardens play bat and moth
Mike and Dan from Wildlife and Eco Gardens play bat and moth
Dan shows the children how to roll down the hill
Dan shows the children how to roll down the hill

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