Marching on…

Spring is beginning to burst out all over. We are being charmed by a flock of goldfinches, visiting the teasels just outside our office every morning. Snowdrops, aconites and daffodils complete the scene and we are watching our patch of ransoms grow by the day. We can’t wait to get making our woodland pesto…wild garlic and nettle shoots make a delicious pasta sauce.

It is hard to believe we had snow last week, then we were playing outdoors at the weekend without coats on.

Who’s been to our school?

Snow gives us such a great opportunity to detect who lives in, or visits, our Forest School site. Last month children at Forest School around the country had fun throwing snowballs, making snow angels and discovering what cold really feels like. Others were not allowed out to play in case they fell over.

Gifted educators, parents and teachers, know the value of being outside in all weathers and seek ways of enriching their students experiences by providing the appropriate clothing and footwear,  joining in with the exploratory play. I loved seeing social media posts from schools, enabling children by providing freedom, tarpaulins, bubbles and encouragement in the snow.

It was great to see photos of children having fun in the snow at our friend Bea’s Forest School

Find time to Splash!

Ever since Primrose was born I have relished taking her outside, seeing the world anew through her eyes. Every puddle, snail, shadow, even stone, has been worth spending a long time with. Noticing the sounds, sights, smells, ‘touches’ and tastes around her she lives right in the moment. No-one had to remind her to ‘be present’. She was always busy as a ‘human be-ing’ rather than a ‘human do-ing’.

I regret that I was often too busy when her mum Rowan was little and just wanted me to stop and stare in wonder with her. I hope that I did wait and join in sometimes…

The Sensory Trust website has some useful articles, links to research and resources.

“No-one had to remind her to ‘be present’. She was always busy as a ‘human be-ing’ rather than a ‘human do-ing’.”

King Alfred’s Cakes

We love collecting these fungi to use in our fire starting kits. Especially glad to find them in a wood on The Ridgeway, above Wantage, from where we could wave at a statue of King Alfred himself!

Also known as Cramp Balls and Coal Fungus you can find some nifty videos on You Tube of people using them as tinder.

Once the spark is ‘taken’ and a tiny glow is happening within the concentric rings of the Cake blow gently until it is really glowing, swiftly nestle it in a bunch of thin dried material (e.g grasses, dead nettle stalks) and keep blowing until the nest catches light then begin building your fire on the ground with very thin dry kindling.

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