Find out how by contacting us at:
Medway Valley Countryside Partnership
3 Lock Cottages
Tel: 03000 422997
Or use our online contact form.
We offer opportunities for practical volunteering in the beautiful Kent Countryside. Every Thursday our dedicated team of volunteers undertake a huge variety of tasks, from hedge-laying to pond restoration, apple picking to school wildlife garden creation. In addition we have a large team of litter wardens and wildlife surveyors, so call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to find out more.
Autumnal fun, and why the best outdoor play is spontaneous
Isabel Sturdy, Partnership Officer for NWKCP
With Halloween and half term upon us, the NWKCP team has had a busy week of autumn family fun days in our local woodlands.
We run events such as these throughout the year, usually based along a wildlife theme and involving craft activities.
Without a doubt, the autumn days are always my favourite. This is because, not only are we spending our days in the midst of flaming trees of every red, gold and yellow, but we have this amazing array of leaves to be used in ever more inventive ways!
This year we ran woodland management sessions, where children had the opportunity to use bow saws and loppers, and actually cut down small trees. We were carrying out this work to allow more light to the woodland floor in certain places, and therefore encourage ground flora and subsequently bees, butterflies and other invertebrates. Needless to say, many of the children were just delighted to get a chance to use sharp tools!
We also ran craft sessions where the kids used fallen leaves to make “leaf kebabs”, wreaths, fairies and crowns (see below). As ever, we were impressed by the array of creations and the imagination that went into them. The children (and their parents!) threw themselves into the activities and came up with some amazing ideas.
What I loved best about the days, though, was watching what the children did after they had finished cutting trees, or making and doing. At our fun day in 100 Year Wood, Horton Kirby, most children finished the activities within an hour and a half. Most of them, however, stayed with us for the full three hours – when they had had enough of the organised fun they each picked up a good-looking stick and just played. There was much ground bashing , yelling and laughter – what could be more fun than a stick and your imagination?
At Joyden’s Wood we held our fun day in driving rain. When the children had finished our activities, they were drawn by some irresistible force to the puddles nearby, and spent ages just splashing around and getting soaked. I suppose that playing with a stick and splashing in puddles are things that kids do less and less these days, what with busy lives and electronic devices to be played on. It just goes to show that sometimes all you need is the outdoors and some imagination to have a good time.
Photographs © NWKCP