Skim a stone, play pooh sticks and more

Get out for a walk with the family this spring, there are plenty of opportunities for some healthy competition and if you need ideas pick up a wild adventure scrapbook and start ticking off the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾.

The suspension bridge at Whitelady Waterfall is a great place to play pooh sticks. 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.

The spring wild flowers come out in succession, so every day looks slightly different to the day before. The starry white wild garlic flowers come out first; you’ll probably be able to smell these before you see them. Then yellow celandines and pink purslane join the mix until the carpets of bluebells take over as April turns to May.

A patch of celandine on the woodland floor
NTIL 1196532 Celandine Heddon Valley
A patch of celandine on the woodland floor

In spring the woodland birds will be singing their hearts out trying to attract a mate. Listen out for them on your walk or find a bench to stop and see what appears. The bird hide located at the end of the old Great Western Railway line is a quiet spot to sit and watch the birds feeding.  Great tits and blue tits especially like the peanut feeders. Bring a pair of binoculars if you have them and you will be able to see the birds close up.

Great tits and Blue tits especially like the peanut feeders
Great tit and Blue tit on peanut feeder
Great tits and Blue tits especially like the peanut feeders

You can make a short detour to Tucker’s Pool from the main gorge walk or the short Devil’s Cauldron trail. This is a great place to look out for river birds such as the Grey wagtail, which has a yellow belly and the Dipper, a medium sized brown bird with a white breast that dives under water and uses its wings to swim.

Another 50 things activity is to explore a cave, there are a few old mine workings in the gorge however most are sealed off, partly to keep people safe and partly as they are a great roosting site for Greater and Lesser horseshoe bats. However there is a small cave on the path to Tucker’s Pool to keep an eye out for.

After completing the 50 things activities be sure to record it in the wild adventure scrapbook and pick up a sticker from visitor reception. As the seasons change at the gorge there are opportunities to complete different 50 things activities so have fun ticking them all off.