30DaysWild: Wildlife Watch with Sussex Wildlife Trust


When we moved out-of-town a couple of years ago, before Noodle started school, we discovered Woodsmill: the HQ of Sussex Wildlife Trust and a stunning nature reserve with lovely woodland, a big lake, a perfect stream, big sumptuous meadows and the incredible wildlife that comes with all of this.

At the time we discovered Nature Tots, a fun workshop for kids under 5 to get involved with nature. Noodle loved it and so did I! Now that he’s at school we have discovered Wildlife Watch, which is aimed at children between 5 and 8. The sessions take place on a Saturday once a month for 6 months. I just had to sign him up; and after our first session recently, I can say we were not disappointed.

Our leader introduced himself as Bruno which Noodle found hilarious; and to my slight embarrassment he blurted out that our cat is called Bruno. We all had a good giggle when he also mentioned that Bruno, the cat, was ginger and white, to a man who is, you’ve guessed it, a redhead. I love Noodle πŸ˜€

The kids were captivated right from the start.

Bruno, the leader :), was extremely knowledgeable and fantastic with the kids. On our way to the meadows we stopped on several occasions with him pointing out the smallest creatures, explaining what the were, like ladybird larvae which doesn’t look anything like a ladybird! The kids were captivated right from the start.

Once we arrived at the meadow, the kids ran around with nets, encouraged to catch anything they could to then place in a white plastic tray to admire and identify. We caught so many creatures! We caught crickets and grasshoppers, and learned what the difference is. Did you know? Crickets tend to walk and have long antennae, grasshoppers have short antennae good for jumping as far as possible. We also caught shield bugs, caterpillars, a million of the tiniest crawlies and even butterflies!


Later we headed into the woods to make fire! We got handed our very own flint stone fire maker and learned how to make it spark. It was Noodle’s and my first time doing this and actually surprisingly easy. Bruno talked us through how to stay safe around a fire and how to make sure the fire stays contained. We then lit our very own piece of charcoal cloth which simply smouldered away without a flame. Bruno then collected all of these and lit the fire with them. He had showed us how lay different types of wood and eventually some hay on top, so that we could do it ourselves at our next session.

Once the fire got going, we made toast. We held our slices of bread over the fire, spread jam on top after and drank hot chocolate. Noodle loved it. We both did. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! We can’t wait to come back for more.

I have noticed a real change in Noodle since we started our #30DaysWild challenge and even more so after this workshop. He has grown in confidence and is developing a great love and understanding for nature and the environment. He is not afraid to pick up a spider or any creature to help it off the pavement to safety. Long may it continue πŸ™‚

If you’d like to find out more about Wildlife Watch or Nature Tots, visit the Sussex Wildlife Trust website.

*I have not been sponsored for this post in any way.

Enjoying his toast & hot chocolate


Bridie By The Sea
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30DaysWild – Days 6-12 & Our Nature Mobile

I can’t believe we are already half way through our month of 30DaysWild! It’s been great, being in touch with nature. Although, I’ll be honest, it’s not quite so easy after a long day at the office when I have only a couple of hours before bedtime to do household stuff, dinner, reading, homework etc etc.

There has been a couple of days when we just had to make do with something very simple and quick. On those days we admired some beautiful cloud formations, we followed a bee whizzing from flower to flower with pollen stuck on it’s legs, we made a daisy chain, we read some wild bedtime books and Noodle made a new woodlouse friend.

For the very first time I also tried my hand at sketching some flowers. I found it so hard to even know where to start but I got into it and it was a lovely way to relax in the evening instead of watching TV. I will definitely try it again.

Our special craft project this week was a nature mobile.

We used two sticks and tied them together quite simply with string. On the four ends we tied lots of pieces of treasure that we found on our rock pooling afternoon, a big duck feather and some paper leaves that noodle cut out and painted. It was quite easy to do. You only have to make sure that it roughly balances, otherwise it won’t work as a mobile. I think, you can see how proud Noodle was of his finished mobile.

Are you also taking part in 30DaysWild? If so, please do leave your links in the comments so I can have a snoop and pick up some of your ideas or read about your adventures.

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30DaysWild – Day 1 to 5 – Off to a wildtastic Start


We’re doing it again! Something “wild” every day inΒ June. We’re taking part in the 30DaysWild challenge run by the Wildlife Trusts across the country. We have a wall chart to plan and document our progress, wild stickers, a packet of wildflower seeds, there is even an app to give us daily inspiration of what to do and a fantastic Facebook group to share our wild adventures. We’ve also been tweeting and instagramming every day. Noodle asks me every morning what wild thing we have planned for the day. It’s a great way to get your kids engaged with nature and it’s really quite therapeutic!

So here is what we’ve been up to in the past 5 days

Day 1: We admired a little pansy that grows in the cracks of the path outside our front door. It’s completely wild and tiny, but stunning nonetheless! In the evening we set up a Moth Trap and patiently waited. It was a bit of a disaster as we didn’t have a single moth come to visit! I think we may have to do this again with a different light. We did, however, see lots of bats flying around our back garden which is wonderful!

Day 2: Noodle’s Toucan Box subscription arrived and contained all the instructions and materials to make a bird feeder. What perfect timing! Later that afternoon we set off to burn some energy in the local woods, where we built a den and collected some pine cones and bark for a later project. I also happened across some lovely elder flower.

As it was such a hot day, we decided to make a quick bug water station with stones for bees and bugs to land and have a much needed drink.

Day 3: I finished making elder flower cordial which had been soaking overnight. It is absolutely deliciousΒ and so so easy to make. It was my first time making it. There are tons of recipes all over the internet if you want to have a go yourself. Don’t wait too long though as the flowers will be gone soon!

Day 4: Today we took a trip to the beach. We found lots of little rock pools full of tiny crabs, mussels, snails and much to Noodle’s delight an old disregarded crab shell. We spent ages looking under rocks and inspecting the strange encrustations and various varieties of seaweed.


Day 5: We made some wild art in our scrapbook and Mr Naish took NoodleΒ to our local Wildfowl Trust Reserve to see the ducklings this afternoon and came back with a little bunch of wild flowers for me πŸ™‚

30 days wild

Please follow us on Instagram or Twitter to see our adventures or sign-up on the left to get our post in your inbox. We’ve already got loads of plans for more stuff to do during the next 25 days. If you want to take part in 30DaysWild, it’s not too late! Check out the Facebook group here.


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