We were very lucky on Sunday to avoid the showers when we met at Legbourne Wood to look at Autumn seeds, fruits and berries. Eleven children and eight adults attended. (Some by bike – well done to them!)
Whilst waiting to begin our walk the children looked for hidden fruits and berries on a ‘Forest floor’ sheet. They began to match some of the fruits and berries with the appropriate leaves.
Once we were ready the children made some good suggestions for health and safety issues and Keith filled in those they hadn’t thought of.
On the first part of the path the children looked for various seeds and collected them in a tub where appropriate. They were very thoughtful about only taking what they needed and about taking care in what to pick. After a while we stopped and talked about seed dispersal. We discussed why it was necessary and thought of different methods plants used. As each method was described the children looked through their tubs for examples to match.
For the next part of the walk, the children were given a sheet naming six trees to which they had to match the appropriate leaves and fruiting bodies. We looked at examples of some of the trees on the way and many of the children were keen to add to their seed collection. We also noticed that there were some different plants on this section of the walk as the path was in more sunlight. When we reached our next point we talked about what we thought the most common trees in Legbourne Wood were and went through the sheet together with the children offering their results.
Next the children (and those adults who were allowed by their offsprings to assist!) eagerly participated in an orienteering activity. There were four different options that Keith had devised and each spelled a nature word if completed correctly. This was a very popular activity and several children completed many if not all of the options.
In addition, they were also able to make a small rotating ‘helicopter’ to reproduce the effect of maple, ash and sycamore keys and make a seed/berry idial to aid with tree and seed matching.
As we returned we talked about our session and looked at the different parts of the wood especially where a large area had been cleared, presumably due to Ash dieback.
All in all – an ex-seed-ingly enjoyable and productive meeting.