Sometimes I just feel so lucky to be doing what I do. After our fab week spent at Inch we headed to The Hollies to immerse ourselves yet again in natures bounty. This week took on a tribal vibe and we began by sending them out on short explorations, without an adult. It was amazing to recognise this unknown territory for the kids and their excitement on their return to report back what they saw before mapping out their newly discovered lands.
The kids favourite discovery by far was the meadows of fern that they insisted on revisiting every day.
The Organic Gardens at the Hollies are spectacular at the best of times and were in full bloom in July. On the second day we shifted perspective a little and began to look at the land through the lens of the insects and animals we share it with. Bees stole the show and earned the respect of the whole group by the end of the day. We even invented a game Wasps versus Bees, which I will go about explaining at a later date. Super complicated and loads of fun. We gathered seeds so we could plant our own bee friendly gardens, tasted calendula and borage. We even did a little wild medicine making as we gathered St John Worts petals for an infused oil. Last but no means least did a bee dance for each other to lead them to the juiciest flower of our choice before enjoying a bee song on the ukulele.
After a few days settling in, it was time to make ourselves some weapons- seems inevitable really. Catapults, swords, staffs and bows and arrows. It was a whittling wonderland.
The last day we ventured into the small woods where we set up camp for the day. The kids went about building some rope play structures, enjoyed relaxing in hammocks, building shelters, making clay creatures, listening to stories and making yummy pancakes. I think it is true to say of us all, none of us wanted to leave. Thank you to all who turned up and made it a week to remember.
Written by Niamh Geoghegan Co-ordinator and co-founder at Mucky Boots Forest School