The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust develops new fun activities for shows such as this each year, and for 2017 we’ve been busy devising a game to help children learn about the food that baby dormice, barn owls and kingfishers need to survive into adulthood. Gather points by collecting enough of the right kind of food and follow a trail to feed this to the young animals.
Stroud is a focus for all things wildlife and environmental and this is reflected by the Festival of Nature – one of a very small number of such festivals in the UK.
Last year’s festival had 50 stalls, busy with families enjoying themselves on a fabulous day out. I know my colleagues in other organisations work hard too, coming up with educational and entertaining activities.
Previously we have used wool from the sheep that graze our Daneway Banks nature reserve to make felt caterpillars and butterflies to show the link between grazing and wildlife, and last year we used ‘wood cookies’ – small, thin rounds of hazelwood – to make foodchain mobiles. The hazelwood was from woodlands we manage for wildlife and is normally used to make our sustainable barbecue charcoal.
The festival is part of Stroud Nature, which runs from now until the end of August. Pick up a copy of the programme, or download it from stroudnature.org, to find out about the stunning range of walks, talks, open days and activities taking place. It was launched last Friday with a talk by gorilla and elephant expert Ian Redmond – he describes himself as “a naturalist by birth, a biologist by training, and a conservationist by necessity”.
We are looking forward to the Festival of Nature this year. We will, once again, have a fabulous selection of projects and activities for you to discover and enjoy. Butterflies, mushrooms, insects, plants, tree climbing, repair cafe and lots more. We even have the wonderful Stroud Brewery to refresh yuo as always. See you there - Sunday 9th July, Stratford Park, Stroud.
The start to our programme at Ruskin Mill Field Centre and Gables Farm was a great success. Over 100 people enjoyed the weekend with bio-dynamic barbecue and activities for all ages. Pictures and story to follow.
Stroud Nature 2017. Our opening event is on May Bank Holiday Weekend. Family Open Day at Ruskin Mill Field Centre. Park behind Tipputs Inn on the A46 above Nailsworth towards Bath.
Connections - Ruskin Mill Field Centre & Gables Farm
Saturday 27th May 10.00am - 4.00pm
Join us on the beautiful and biodynamic Gables Farm for a wonderful day of craft, land and ecological based activities. Take part in farm and woodland walks, meet the animals, and experience a variety of traditional crafts.
Deliciously priced BBQ lunch and new biodynamic farm shop open. Suitable for all ages and all are welcome. FREE
An evening in August to be confirmed. Join Stroud Nature in the search for the Great Green Bush Cricket of Rodborough Common. This one of the largest insects in the whole of Northern Europe. We will also see what other grasshoppers and crickets share the common with this impressive insect. Great Green Bush Cricket (left) and Roesel's Bush Cricket (below) photographed in 2016 on the common.