It’s a fantastic sight to watch our young wild explorers run with eagerness onto our sites, parents walking behind them with picnic in hand. With this time of year teeming with beautiful sights, smells, and sounds it’s a perfect day out for the whole family.


David Broadbent (

Our wonderful wildflowers are still in bloom at Fairburn Ings; Chicory, with its delicate blue petals is a favourite for visitors and pollinators this summer. Hiding behind the tall wildflowers and chicory near the entrance to the visitor centre you might often see myself under the gazebo, with all our goodies to start your wildlife adventure. The children are always excited to hear they can go mini-beast hunting on land and in water with our pond dipping kits – an adventure awaiting them to discover leeches, bugs and butterflies! It’s this enthusiasm for wildlife that really brightens my day, our future generations wanting to discover nature on their doorstep.


Ruddy darter - Evie Scott

It’s really important that we embrace this positive attitude towards nature and wildlife. We must encourage a sense of responsibility, empathy and oneness with nature, so we can enjoy what it provides us for years to come. The positive impacts of nature on our children’s physical, mental and social wellbeing is something we cannot buy, but we can ensure that wildlife is given a home. One of our biggest threats to wildlife is unfortunately the dis-interest in it. We need to plant the seed for children, let their passion and enthusiasm for wildlife flourish.


Gavin Orr

So that’s why the RSPB developed the Wild Challenge! It’s a free digital awards scheme for families to enjoy activities all year round, to experience and help nature! The plan is for all, and is a great way for you and your family to experience and amplify your connection with nature whether you are at home, the park or at one of the spectacular reserves. Activities include bug safaris, mammal tracking, or having a wild sleep out!


So next time you’re visiting Fairburn Ings or St Aidans make sure to notice the beautiful blue common damselflies darting across the ground, the bright orange dragonflies; the common darters and brown hawkers dancing above your head, and the small furry voles and shrew scuttling across the play area path. It’s easy to miss these spectacular sights, but make sure to give yourself time to connect back with nature.

 For more information on the wild challenge and sign up visit: