TV naturalist Nick Baker joined pupils from Everton Primary School for a woodland session at Idle Valley Nature Reserve in Retford.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the county’s leading conservation charity, invited Nick, vice-president of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), to Idle Valley, in his role as ambassador for Forest Schools-inspired projects that RSWT is co-ordinating thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The session, led by trust staff, Rick Berry and Kevin Widdowson, included a nature walk, den building, mini beast hunts, wild art, cooking food on a fire, bushcrafts and using tools.
Children learn to make their own choices, manage risk and through play learn about the value of the woodland around them and the wildlife.
The Everton pupils at the end of the session were asked what they liked best about the day.
Their responses included ‘finding a toad and frog’, ‘making a wooden mallet’ and the bug hunt with Nick – who is known as Bug Boy Baker due to his Twitter handle being @BugBoyBaker – who also demonstrated the fine art of bogie making with slug slime.
Nick said: “I had a blast, a fantastic day.
“Without the constraints of the classroom they have learnt about tracking animals, identifying mini beasts and making mini mallets.
“It was absolutely fantastic. When we asked the kids what they remembered most it went something like ‘(mud) face painting’, and ‘we like the damselflies’ and ‘rabbit guts’ – as we found a dead rabbit on the path.
“It was a really really good day and it’s all thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery that it has been possible so if that’s you, thank you big time.”
Lynn Victor, the Wildlife Trust’s education and community manager, added: “Taking part in a series of sessions in a woodland setting has many benefits for young people, including the opportunity to learn new skills and increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
“The support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery has enabled us to extend our programme across the county and we are delighted that Nick Baker joined our session.”