Exploring Nature Closer to Home, With the Woodland Trust

As the weather warms up and evenings draw out, the paddling pool and footballs are sure to be more than earning their weight in gold.

A few of us are on the hunt for new adventures and games to keep the little ones entertained and spend more time with family in the garden, and we thought we may not be alone.

So, we’ve teamed up with Ruth, Director of Brand and Communications at the Woodland Trust⁠ who shared some ideas for making the most of nature on our doorsteps.

1. Build a bug hotel

Insects and other minibeasts need safe spaces to shelter, hide from predators and raise their young. You can help them by building a bug hotel in your garden or outside area.

If you have some bricks, wooden boxes or pallets to hand, why not build a multi-storey minibeast mansion and treat your guests to some 5-star accommodation?

Divide it into sections and stuff each part with different natural materials. Dry leaves, twigs, hollow stems, dead grass, pine cones and bits of bark are ideal. They’ll help to create warm, dry spaces that will attract different creepy crawlies.

Some more ideas for simple bug hotels:

Find some logs and stuff them with dead leaves 

Gather pine cones together and place them in a quiet corner

Pile different sized twigs up and stuff with leaves

Collect dried out, hollow stems and pack them into an old terracotta plant pot

2. Bark rubbing

Nature loves a pattern – and they can make fascinating pictures if you know where to look. Get the children to grab some colourful crayons and plain paper then head out into your garden.

To make a rubbing, simply place the paper on top of a natural object and rub a crayon over it sideways to create a fantastic print. Tree bark is ideal – the more knobbly the better!

You can even turn it into a competition by getting your family members to guess which tree or natural item you used to make the rubbing. You can use our free Tree ID app to identify your trees and find out more about them.

3. Colour Bingo

The warmer weather has brought many spring flowers into bloom. They’re such a cheerful sight, so why not teach your kids how to identify them? Keep your eyes peeled when you’re in your garden or doing your daily exercise.

Remember, you might hear colours before you see them. So listen out for pretty bird songs, the buzzing bees, croaking frogs, or the call of a cuckoo.

How many colours can you spot?

Thanks Ruth! We can’t wait to try these out. Check out the Woodland Trust blog here for more hints and tips for how to make the most of nature.

Pssst…Did you know? We’ve pledged to plant 250,000 trees with the Woodland Trust by 2022, in recognition of just how important protecting our natural world is. You can find out more about how we’re working with the Woodland Trust right here.

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