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
My mum and I took E and the dog out for a walk somewhere we hadn’t been in Colyton before. We walked through a lovely meadow at the top of Ridgway, then along Sand Pit Hill Lane, through a field of cows, past a hollow tree, then down through a very peaceful woodland, full of Enchanter’s Nightshade, Honeysuckle and Downy Birch, where E fell asleep.
We got back home just in time to leave again to pick up Izzy from Holiday Club. At the Playing Field, we made a map, did some sketches and explored the river bank.
Total wild time – Dog walk (E) – 1 hour 30 mins, Map-making etc. (E & Izzy) – 45 mins
I knew Izzy wasn’t quite herself this morning when she had a complete meltdown because she wanted toast for breakfast but not toast that was ‘cooked’. It was therefore quite an achievement to actually get her and E out of the house and to the Donkey Sanctuary, where I was subjected to a lot of whining about going to the playground.
However, once we followed the path into the woods, she became much more like her normal self. We popped into the Nature Centre and checked out the skulls (cue E’s dinosaur roar) and nest boxes, then continued on the trail through the trees. Jays and Buzzards called and I was impressed to find a Wild Service Tree (the kids less so). The footpath led to the promised playground and the kids played on the tractor until I dragged them home for lunch.
Total wild time: 1 hour 50 min
I took the whole family to explore the very jungly Prescott Pinetum in Uplyme, today. We wandered around, examining the roots of fallen trees and balancing along bouncy branches, admiring the tall conifers and the impressive girth of an enormous Redwood tree. Izzy made a collection of interesting finds – multi-coloured leaves, pine cones and sticks. E made friends with some dog walkers and enjoyed poking around a Badger latrine.
I was quite impressed when Izzy correctly identified a number of plants and the call of a Buzzard. It’s gratifying to know that she does listen to some of the stuff I tell her. She then decided to become a tour guide and gave us quite a lecture on natural history. When I pointed out that the fern she was looking at was more accurately called Hard Fern, she told me in no uncertain terms that she was doing the talking and not me. It is possibly the perfect future career for her (except that, if you ask her, she says that she wants to be a ‘Fairy Hunter’/teacher).
Total wild time: 1 hour 10 mins