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”.