the best part of education – bugs, berries and butterflies

September 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm 1 comment

“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs,
mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb.
Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets;
and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of
the best part of education.”

– Luther Burbank

Crickley Hill_E on top of a fallen tree wearing DUNS willow top

I’m not sure I’d recognise a wood chuck if I saw one and I certainly wouldn’t willingly expose my children to snakes in the wild or hornets but using the outdoors as a classroom is certainly something we embrace.  We are lucky to have some fabulous areas of outstanding natural beauty in Gloucestershire and one of our favourites, Crickley Hill, is just 15 minutes away by car.

Crickley Hill - E butterfly trail wearing DUNS willow top
Whenever I take the boys up Crickley Hill I know it’s for my benefit as much as theirs to amble about the escarpment and meander through the woods.  The National Trust manage the site and last year joined forces with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to encourage more wildlife onto Crickley Hill.  All through the summer there were different nature trails on offer for young explorers and E enjoyed learning about different butterfly species as he raced around the escarpment.

Crickley Hill - the best part of education_family bimble

I spent a lot of time at Crickley Hill as a child so for someone who’s a bit inept when it comes to map reading it’s nice not having to give any mental energy to staying on the right track.  My internal sat nav at Crickley at least is finely tuned and I always know instinctively how to get back to the car park.  It’s lovely to think that this will become a special place for E and L not only for the family time we spend here but the adventures we have with friends exploring dens and climbing on fallen trees.

Crickley Hill_E and Fin copy 4B

I have a picture of 2 year old E emerging from a  den in the woods at Crickley on the picture shelf in his room.  It’s a only a simple A4 landscape size but I love it because it serves as a reminder to keep things simple when it comes to spending quality time with children.  They don’t need lots of input when taken to places that fire their imagination, just warm, attentive interaction.  The next time we visited Crickley Hill after taking this photo I felt sad to see this den had been dismantled where some other explorers had used the branches to fashion their own den elsewhere.  So this snapshot of E’s childhood adventures also serves to remind me that the joy is in the journey not the destination and the memories live on long after the creation has fallen apart.

10-4-14 - Crickley Hill_E outside den 4B

In case you’re wondering about baby L, he had a lovely time too.  I only carried him for the last 20 minutes of a 3 hour bimble when he ran out of steam.  He was a back-of-the-head blurr in the photos I snapped on my phone so here’s one of him receiving the best part of education from one of our cats.  Billy has been teaching him that gentle downward strokes on the head are rewarded with purrs and hammer-like bops with scratches!
IMG_20170911_222412

Entry filed under: Gloucestershire, National Trust days out. Tags: , , , .

telling tall tales when you’re 5 years old a (would have been) 100th birthday

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cherie || My Mama Musings  |  September 21, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Love this. I really love the phrase “They don’t need lots of input… just warm, attentive input”. It is so true. We are planning a trip to a little local nature reserve this weekend and we love it. It’s basically a duck pond with lots of open space, but we have the best time their. Getting muddy and exploring.

    Also it’s so lovely that you have the photo and even through the Den has been deconstructed you have those great memories! It’s so nice that it is somewhere that will become special to you all and it’s a bonus you internal satnat works there too.

    Great post!

    Cherie || My Mama Musings

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


About Nip it in the bud


Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

If you like what you found why not receive stories straight into your inbox

Follow Nip it in the bud on WordPress.com

Blog Stats

  • 452,470 hits

Archives

Follow me on Instagram

Lunch served on a bed of allotment grown lettuce to make up for the distinct lack of a certain green ingredient from my Greek Salad (I can't really call it that anyway as I can't resist adding balsamic vinegar). #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
Easily the best event at Es sports day - bundle Daddy 😍 #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog @musicalgeorgemoorey @georgeawmoorey
Bottled sunshine #eldefflowercordial #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
My fab little elderflower forager #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #foragersdelight #foragingisfun
It's the season - elderflower cordial making. Everything about this activity was sheer delight from picking with L to making with a friend. And the smell and taste, so yummy. Details on the blog (link in bio)
Fathers Day came and went with G having to work away for the day and me being busy with the boys at my parents. So I didn't get the chance to say what a brilliant, supportive and kind Father and husband G is. This is Luca at 4 days old snugged into his Dad's hoody when I was too ill with an infection to hold him We were cup feeding him expressed milk because he had a tongue tie and couldn't nurse. Hard times are always made easier with @musicalgeorgemoorey by my side. #nipitinthebudblog #coparentingdad #gloucesterlife
"This is the stuff of nightmares". If you're living and loving through childhood cancer, know someone who is or simply care about others please read and share @the_tightrope_walker 's latest post. Such courage with her own son's cancer journey but determined to raise awareness along the way #childhoodcancerawarenessmonth
Both boys are home with coughs and colds today so home-made #wildgarlicpestopasta for lunch is about as wild as it's going to get today #30dayswild
Lots of redcurrant jelly makers out there judging by this week's blog stats. #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #redcurrantjelly
We haven't even left the bedroom yet and Euan's got his nature head on for #30dayswild - pretending to be Walter the slug from Beatbugs using his IKEA tunnel! @gloswildlife #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
Day 16 of #30dayswild - reading nature stories at bedtime. One of E's favourites 'The winter hedgehog'. When I said to E we hadn't really done a random act of wildness today he immediately replied "yes we did, we went outside, we looked at flowers and Luca picked up pine cones on the way to Alfie's party". Oh yes! #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog @gloswildlife
Spotted Superboy out and about in Gloucester today! #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife

Follow me on Twitter

Featured posts elsewhere

A Gardeners Voice Featured Blog!
TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

%d bloggers like this: