Thursday 2 July 2015

30 Days Wild in June

I like to fool people and pretend we live in the country... well not really but I do occasionally look over my photos (or glance at my instagram feed) and think who am I kidding? My photos carefully crop out the hustle and bustle of London - and probably most notably the tube line that runs behind our house. But we do spend a lot of time outdoors - we may not have the silence/birdsong of the country, or the rolling views or quiet lanes but in our pocket of London we do have a lot of great outdoor spaces to explore and of course we still have wildlife, plenty of it to discover right on our doorstep in fact.
So when I heard about the Wildlife Trust's 30 Day Wild project I thought we'd give it a go... the idea was to try to do something involving nature everyday.**

Here's a few of the things we got up to.

We set up an area at the back of the garden with buckets and water shoots (old drain pipes) as a designated mud-kitchen. The kids LOVED it and spent many a happy hour there. We often see a frog or two in this area too so happy for it to get a bit of a soaking.

I encouraged lots of bug finding... and we did attempt some identification too. Now everytime they find a bug/spider/bee/caterpillar/worm they want to come and show me...

We spent a lovely afternoon on the Thames path just the other side of the river from us with some friends - they showed us a den they'd found and the children added some new sticks to it.

 River watch....

Picking elderflowers for cordial making...

About five minutes walk from our house there is a small Wild Life Trust nature reserve, we don't visit often enough but we got there a couple of times over the month - the first time we found the duck egg shell in the top picture.

Coco climbed trees... although I'm not sure she was really meant too.

Amazing how much you see going on in a pond when you really take the time to look...

Eating food straight from the garden... the first of the peas. Henry and I also made a really good batch of strawberry ice lollies from our very own strawberries. If we make another load I'll have to take some photos but they were basically puree strawberries with some condensed milk and a some real milk - delicious.

I tried to get the children to do a leaf audit in the garden but we didn't get very far...

Taking time to smell the roses...

Finally - finding hidden beauty in London is such a treat - this was taken in Regents Park where we had our blognic picnic last Sunday. If you're feeling adventurous go and search for the Garden of St John's Lodge, it's a proper secret garden, so beautiful. The perfect location for a picnic. Also, due to the rain my kids ended up eating in a little woodland den - I just failed to get a share-worthy photo. sorry internet!

So, we wished farewell to June - but with the summer holidays about to start I'm definitely going to try to keep joining in the new tag from the Wild Life Trust which is #staywild - I'm booking a couple of sessions at the Holland Park Ecology Centre in the holidays and we are looking forward to some UK adventures in the next few weeks in the proper countryside. 

 * If any of these photos look familiar it's because I shared a few of of them on my new fledgling instagram account that I'm running for Cotton Twist (have I mentioned my new venture to you yet...!?)

** I should probably confess here that I'm not a true naturalist. I love our garden and have got quite into flowers and food growing over the last few years,  but I always wear my gardening gloves. That kind of sums it up I think, I like it but not enough to really get mud under my nails. I'm no good at recognising wild flowers - I definitely don't know the names of half the bugs we find in the garden and I'm no fan of snails and slugs. However; having children means you sometimes just have to get over yourself, so that's what I try to do. And sometimes in pretending it's really fine to hold a spider it suddenly is actually fine. So that's pretty good too.

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