With the summer holidays just around the corner many parents will be starting to look into some extra entertainment after the initial thrill of being on holiday has worn off for their young charges. For outdoor families and nature enthusiasts though there are some fantastic days out to be had across the UK, many of which are outstanding value for money or donation only.
With close family having volunteered at this kind of family day out for several years, I can guarantee that they make great hands-on events with plenty of enthusiastic volunteers on hands to guide kids through animal identification to making their own bird or hedgehog box! Sadly, unless you are in the know already finding out about these kinds of events can be tricky, although the word is beginning to get out there – so spread the word.
Here are some great ideas and resources for finding an event near you:
- Wildlife Trust Events: With everything from bat walks and pond dipping to forest games and photography, the Wildlife Trusts across the UK have huge amounts going on for all ages, often for just a small donation although you normally need to book to reserve a place. One good example for those in Berkshire is the Berkshire Bioblitz on Saturday 3rd August – a team of scientists will be identifying as many species as possible of 24 hours and the entire family are invited to help them as well as enjoying other arts, crafts, workshops and walks.
- Wildlife Clubs: If you are looking to foster a love of nature and the outdoors in your children then the Wildlife Trusts also have a great array of regular activities that kids will love. I recently stumbled across the Nature Tots events run by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust which are aimed at pre-schoolers, with Junior, Senior and Nature Ranger activities also on offer. Check the Wildlife Trusts Events page for more information.
- If you go down to woods today… well, you’ll find a lot going on! The Woodland Trust organise some great family days out with everything from bushcraft and den building to teddy bears’ picnics and wildlife walks on offer. Check their website for details of an event near you.
- Make a date with nature with the RSPB: whilst walking in the New Forest we stumbled upon one of the RSPB ‘s fab ‘Make a date with nature’ events – in our case it was a fascinating insight into the resident Goshawks, including a nestcam! There are plenty of other information centers and events across the rest of the UK offering the opportunity for visitors to find out more about all sorts of our native wildlife. See the full list here.
- National Parks: Whilst each National Park has its own approach to visitor engagement, it’s definitely worth checking out their various events pages. Some even offer kids clubs such as the Ranger Ralph club for 5-12 year olds on Dartmoor. What’s more, with National Parks week coming up from 29th July to 4th August, keep your eyes open for lots of activities and events being held across the UK’s National Parks to celebrate these free natural spaces for all the family to enjoy.
Have a recommendation for a great family outdoor or wildlife event? Leave a comment with your recommends below!