26th May 2017 – Sea swimming

IMG_0501The weather was stunning, so it seemed like a good idea to go to the beach. We went to Lyme and as the tide was well out, we took the opportunity to explore the rock pools. We found some sea squirts, anemones and one crab. There was a huge diversity of seaweed. Then, we played in the waves and whilst B watched the kids, I went for a swim in the surprisingly warm water. We sat on the sand with the intention of making sand castles, but by this point, the kids had started whingeing. The salt seemed to be irritating E’s skin, who suffers from eczema and Izzy had got a bit cold. So, we headed back to the car, past all the very tempting ice cream stalls.

Total wild time – 1 hour 50 mins

8th April 2017 – Harvest Mice, Kestrels and Sandcastles

IMG_0325We started the day at Seaton Wetlands, where the kids scooted and biked to the Discovery Hut. We had come to see the captive Harvest Mice and the Kestrel nest box cam. Afterwards, we drove to Lyme Regis, where we played on the sandy beach. Izzy delighted in digging a ‘Daddy pit’, which we covered with a towel and encouraged B to sit on. We paddled in the sea, where, weirdly, a goose was hanging about. Then, we built a course for some golf-balls, like a giant marble run, before E trashed it with a toy digger.

There was then a lot of whingeing and so we set off for home, where the kids changed out of their wet, sandy clothes, before going to Grandmum and Grandad’s house, where Izzy made a butterfly out of Hazel twigs and they both did pastel drawings. We found zillions of Slow-worms under some roofing felt in the garden.IMG_0329

Total wild time – about 4 hours

26th October 2016 – The Undercliffs

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The kids didn’t get any wild time today, I’m afraid, as I walked from Axmouth to Lyme Regis on the South West Coast Path, just with my mum and my dog. It was a walk of 7.5 miles, up and down numerous steps through a nature reserve known as The Undercliffs, a jungly woodland on an area that has been subject to numerous landslips. We didn’t see much wildlife, or many people, come to that, but we did notice a Buzzard being mobbed by crows, overhead and a Red Admiral that settled in front of us as we ate our lunch.

Total wild time – me and my mum – 3 hours 40 mins. Kids – 0 mins

20th October 2016 – Fish and Chip night

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It was pretty cold today, so my family took some convincing that it would be fine to eat fish and chips on the beach. Eventually, they agreed, with the caveat that we would retreat indoors after 5 minutes if it became uncomfortably cold. In the end, of course, the chips kept us warm enough to eat sitting on the beach wall overlooking Lyme Regis harbour. Afterwards, we ran down to the sea and within seconds, both children had wet feet. We noticed the Limpets and Barnacles stuck to the beach defence wall and the kids enjoyed climbing over the sandcastles and down into the holes left behind by other children.

On the drive home, the sun set in a stunning orange sky and a small murmuration of Starlings swooped over the marshes.

Total wild time – 1 hour

15th September 2016 – East Cliff Beach

IMG_2134 IMG_2136 IMG_2151We had a great afternoon on East Cliff Beach, between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. We skipped down the 114 steps, past some sculptures, patches of Bristly Ox-tongue and a couple of  Clouded Yellow Butterflies. There were some great rock pools to potter around in and we saw several crabs and little fishes. Izzy slipped rather dramatically on the green algae and ended up with her feet in the air. Undeterred, she continued to jump from rock to rock. We arrived at the beach at the same time as a load of students, who looked very busy with tape measures and clipboards. Skirting around them and the jagged bits of metal, which have apparently come from a tip exposed by the eroding cliffs, we found a boulder on which to unload our stuff. From there, we searched for fossils (yet again the best one, a tiny shell, was found by E), collected sea glass and paddled in the sea. I tried to make a picture of a dragon with the sea glass, but it was hijacked by Izzy, who turned it into a fish. We took a photo, before it was covered by the incoming tide, then we changed E’s soggy trousers and socks, before climbing the 114 steps back to the car park.

We had thought the kids would be worn out, but apparently not – Izzy serenaded us with Christmas songs all the way home.

Total wild time – 2 hours

29th August 2016 – Open Top Bus

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We took a Mendip Mule Open Top Bus to Beer, where we went swimming in the sea. On the cliffs, we listened to the singing Crickets and noticed a beautiful Common Blue Butterfly. Then, we took the bus to Lyme Regis and visited Town Mill. The bus was a brilliant way to see the countryside – we spotted loads of birds on the Axe Estuary, including a Cormorant and a Rabbit hopping through a field.

Later, we had a lovely dinner in my parents’ garden in the evening sunshine. We avoided the wasps nesting in their roof and had a close up sighting of a Buzzard, which dropped down into the grass as we passed.

Total wild time – about 6 hours

7th August 2016 – Dead Man’s Fingers fungus

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Our plans scuppered by a cancelled bus, we went instead into Lyme Regis and sat on the beach eating our lunch. We searched for stones with holes in and were shown how to blow into them to make a whistling sound.

We walked up through the scented gardens and woodland, then back at the car park, we rested in the shade, waiting for the daddies, who had gone for a sneaky beer or two at Cellar 59. When I investigated the stump the boys were bashing with sticks, I found it was covered in Dead Man’s Fingers fungus. There were also some lovely leaf and Sycamore helicopter skeletons lying around. We threw helicopters into the air and watched them spiral to the ground.

Back at home, the kids made a hanging garden decoration with the stones they’d collected, threaded onto twine. Then, the dog found a Frog, which we relocated to the log pile, out of its reach.

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Total wild time – About 1 hour 30 mins

29th July 2016 – Lyme Regis beach

After a boozy night out with B to celebrate our wedding anniversary, today was a bit of a write off, but we managed a quick trip to Lyme Regis, where we walked the length of the Cobb, then pottered about on the tiny beach behind the aquarium, watching the Herring Gulls and Rock Pipits at the edge of the waves. Izzy made some sand castles, which E promptly destroyed.

Heading back towards Monmouth Beach, Izzy tripped over and grazed her knees, which triggered a bit of a meltdown. We decided it would be best to call it a day.IMG_20160729_132821169_HDR IMG_20160729_133410820_HDR

Total wild time – about 30 mins

21st July 2016 – Red Arrows

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OK, I am definitely cheating here. The Red Arrows are not wild in any way. But, prior to their arrival, we did spend an hour playing in Lyme Regis’ parks, rolling down hills and chasing around, before pottering  on the beach, burying Mummy in the sand and paddling in the sea. Then, we enjoyed the display (which was pretty amazing) and went home for bath and bed.

Total wild time: 1 hour 20 mins