A giant frog has been spotted at Flatford Wildlife Garden, just along the boardwalk, sitting right next to the pond. He doesn’t seem to be spooked by anything! Nothing to worry about though, he’s not an alien invader, but one of the characters in our new family trail. All the characters are examples of the creatures to be found in the garden, and all are hand-carved locally from sweet chestnut from Stour Woods (www.rspb.org.uk/stourestuary). This is a local reserve where increased biodiversity is being encouraged through careful management of the woodland to introduce a broader range of native trees and vegetation, thus improving the environment for species, such as nightingales and dormice, that are suffering from diminishing suitable habitat,.
The family trail at Flatford will encourage youngsters, and their accompanying adults, to pause at certain points in the garden and carry out simple activities related to the wildlife represented by the larger than life characters. Learning about nature is much more fun if you do it whilst enjoying yourself out in the fresh air and even earning a sticker when you arrive at the final end point! Along the way there are plenty of discoveries to be made. Try out the child-sized nest box, explore what it might be like to be a log pile dweller, and run through the living willow tunnel.
If you don’t have children with you, you’re equally welcome. The wood carvings are already drawing plenty of admiring comments in their own right as works of art. You will also find lots of simple ideas to think about implementing at home to encourage wildlife into your own garden. Come and talk to our friendly volunteers and look at the information available in the barn.
Spread the word; we need to support nature everywhere, from gardens of rolling acres to tiny balconies! We look forward to seeing you.