Catch a falling leaf, go bird watching and more

Pathway through gorge surrounded by autumn colour

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.

For many 50 things activities you don’t even need to venture into the gorge. The orchard at the Devil’s Cauldron entrance is a wildlife haven and gets the best of the sunshine when it is out. Here you can eat an apple straight from a tree, although some may taste better than others as we do have some cider varieties which can be a little sharp on the tongue. It is also a great place to look for wild blackberries. They ripen later at the gorge as we are close to Dartmoor and so higher and colder than other parts of the county.

Some other 50 things activities that can be ticked off in the orchard include bug hunting, den building and wild art. A good place to hunt for bugs during autumn is around the fallen apples, as lots of insects and other animals will make good use of this new food source. If you need to keep warm why not build a den against the trunk of one of the bigger trees. Collect fallen leaves and twigs to make some wild art, how about getting some inspiration from the things around you and creating a picture of a tree or waterfall. 

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 in one of the trees in this area.

On your walk try and catch a falling leaf, there should be lots of opportunity at the gorge but it can be harder than you think.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 and as the colder weather approaches they will be grateful of any extra food as they try and stay warm over winter.

What will you see from the bird hide?
Father and son looking out of bird hide

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.