Skim a stone, play pooh sticks and more
Outdoor play ideas for the kids this weekend, pick up a wild adventure scrapbook and start ticking off the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾.
The new suspension bridge at Whitelady waterfall is a great place to play pooh sticks with the whole family. Pixie Glen has a wider and quieter stretch of river good for skimming stones, see who can skim the furthest or get the biggest number of skips. Also look out for the pixie door on a tree stump in this area.
Another 50 things activity is to hunt for bugs, and don’t forget that they can live in the river too. The best way to search for these bugs is to look on the underside of rocks on the bottom of the river, but please place them back where you found them afterwards. Other animals in the Gorge are also looking for these bugs for their dinner. For example in the deep quiet pools you might be lucky enough to spot a brown trout swimming against the current. Another bug hunter is the dipper, a medium sized brown bird with a white breast that dives under water and uses its wings to swim. Some striking insects that would be hard to catch are damselflies and dragonflies. They can be seen darting over the water catching other flying insects, and can fly up to 60 miles per hour.
The bird hide located at the end of the old Great Western Railway line is a quiet spot to sit and watch the woodland birds feeding. Great tits and blue tits especially like the peanut feeders. Recently both a male and female pied flycatcher have been spotted by keen eyed visitors in this area. They are a summer visitor from West Africa, and will be flying back from September.
The orchard area at the Devil’s Cauldron entrance is the place for lots more 50 things activities. Build a den against the trunk of one of the bigger trees. Climb a tree to ring the bell that is hung there. Collect fallen leaves and twigs to make some wild art or make a stick trail for the rest of the family to follow. The orchard is also an ideal place to keep a look out for bugs and butterflies when it’s warm and dry. In wetter weather keep a look out for large black slugs and snails. If you find enough snails you can set up a snail race.
After completing the 50 things activities be sure to get it recorded in the wild adventure scrapbook and pick up a sticker from visitor reception. At other National Trust places such as Castle Drogo and Buckland Abbey there are opportunities to complete different 50 things activities so have fun ticking them all off.