I used to literally count the days until the summer holidays when I was a child. I have always loved nature, investigating what was happening in my garden. I would always be off somewhere on my bike, by the local river or woodland, observing birds, butterflies, snails, caterpillars as well as my beloved flowers, living out my own stories as well as pretending I was a part of the Famous Five.
The summer is a great time to experience nature at its best, whether you visit a park, make some crafts, or get involved in some local activities.
If you are looking for fun nature activities that you can do as a family this summer, here are my top ten.
- The Woodland Trust – Nature Detectives has many great ideas to make the most of the summer. They have the Big Summer Challenge 2011 with over 150 suggestions for free summer activities. Membership is also good value starting from £12 a year for a child.
- RSPB Wildlife Explorers The RSPB have a great range of activities and events to inspire children and families all over the UK. Membership starts from £16 a year.
- National Parks Many hold special event days, so visit their website for further details.
- Wildlife Trusts have trusts all around the UK, specialising in your local area. You can also take part in volunteering to help look after you local wildlife.
- Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) have 9 centres across the UK, covering over 2000 hectares of rich wildlife! If you have ever seen Springwatch you will know how wonderful the London centre is. I have visited Slimbridge in Gloucester and loved it there.
- The National Trust Their website has plenty of information to help you plan a day out, with activities for children and suggestions for heritage places and gardens to visit. There is sure to be something on your doorstep.
- Eden Project in Cornwall – this year they celebrate their 10th anniversary. Learn all about the fascinating life of plants, and how we can lessen our damaging impact on the world!
- Butterfly World If you love wildflowers and butterflies then visit the relatively new Butterfly World in Hertfordshire, it looks fantastic and is at the top of my list of where to visit (open 26th June – 31st August)
- Monkey World in Dorset, specialise in rescuing and rehabilitating Apes.
- Sea Life centres, rock pooling and fossil hunting! Make the most of our wonderful UK coastline, there are many places where you can discover more about the wildlife on our beaches and oceans. I have been rather spoilt in Dorset as there are so many places to visit, if you are interested in our marine wildlife and fossils. From the 30th July – 14th August, it’s National Marine Week!
Where are your favourite nature places to visit ?
- Top tips for spotting butterflies (telegraph.co.uk)
- Public urged to take part in UK butterfly count (guardian.co.uk)
- Wildlife volunteering on the BBC – be inspired (thecountrysidevolunteer.wordpress.com)
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