Welcome to The Activity Zone

So for children of all ages, no matter who you are, where you are or what you have – have a look through, we’re sure that you can find something to do. If you’re facing this challenge for the first time, there are many online resources that you can turn to during this uncertain period of self-isolation, social distancing and quarantine.

We will be posting regular updates on our social media and here on the website, with new activities that you can do indoors and outdoors. We will also be sharing photos and videos of wildlife on our site at Chatham Green.

Why not share your thoughts with us and ideas we can add to the collection by contacting us on our social media
@wildernessfoundationuk or @chathamgreenproject email us on info@wildernessfoundation.org.uk.

Natural Navigation

Natural navigation is using nature to find your way.
Natural navigators use the sun, moon, stars, weather, land, sea, plants and animals.

Would you like to give it a go?

Tristan Gooley has written several books covering natural navigation and has lots of information on his website click below.

Natural Navigator

Badger Cam 

Badger Cam brings you all kinds of wildlife, not just badgers. Tune in every week to see new footage from our badger sets.

We have a night vision camera which is set up by our badgers sets and each week we check it and see what footage we have got.
We love seeing what wildlife is on site while we are not around.

New Episodes: Every Thursday (WILDLIFE DEPENDENT)

Badger Cam Playlist

Leave No Trace Challenge 

As a Leave No Trace Centre we operate Leave no Trace Ethics. We thought we would share lessons from the Leave No Trace ethos that you could get involved in.

1. When you go out for a walk around the block or in the park – it is amazing how much litter gets left behind – either from people who are not aware or who don’t care. Picking up litter is an amazingly positive action – it helps our mental health to be doing something positive for a cause, and also helps the planet and wildlife that have to coexist with litter, and can often be damaged by it.
2. The only way to do this now with Corona Virus at large is to wear gloves that you can wash with soapy water in the machine or dispose carefully when you are finished with them. You can use a sharp stick as well so you don’t have to touch anything. Have a bag that you can also recycle at the end to keep you germ free..be careful what you pick up e.g avoid glass or sharp objects like a needle for example. Rather focus on paper, plastic and tins for example.
3. If you are litter picking with children, let them spot and you pick up and you can make a game of this – counting what you find. The training for them in a future littering free life will be brilliant!
4. Recycle back at home or at a recycling bin what you picked up.
5. Stand back and pat yourself somewhere! To acknowledge that you are DOING something good for nature.

6. Share with us if you got involved!

Some of the worst loss of wildlife has happened when people assumed that they could take as much as they wanted as there would ‘always be more’ where that came from.

As one of the worst tragedies of wildlife destruction, the Bison was mercilessly, almost exterminated from the Canadian plains in wanton over -hunting, as were the mega herds of springbok in the Cape Province in the 1800s where the herds would come past for two days solid or more. Hunting had no boundary at this time and in one day a Royal shooting party took out more than 2000 animals in one days shooting. There was no way one could make use of all that meat for the pot, and much was left for vultures and to decay. So many species that are now extinct fell foul of the same tragedies that manifested all across the globe.

Although of a smaller magnitude, but the same principle at stake was new in the Spring of swathes of daffodils being mass picked overnight in Cambridge and other places most likely for sale. The volunteers who had planted the bulbs were devastated. Their back breaking work had been to offer the community something special in the celebration of spring in the golden beauty of these blooms.

There is a selfish gene at play when this happens for material benefit. Sometimes, however, it just comes with a naivety and lack of foresight and knowledge, and that is where teaching LNT comes in. In helps us all realise that we can leave things intact for others to enjoy and appreciate. It helps us think about what we want and what we need. It helps us think too about what is ‘enough’.

Leave What you Find applies to picking wild flowers on verges, in the woods, fields. If everyone did this – we would rapidly diminish this wonder of nature that creates a joyous intake of breath at Nature’s beauty bounty, such as swathes of Bluebell, Campions, Blossom.

The idea is that we enjoy them as a feast for our eyes, camera shots, but we leave them to go through their cycles of growth and natural demise…and to support other life that we may not appreciate such as butterflies and moths, and other pollinators such as bees.

Leave What you Find can include wildlife – babies fallen out of a birds nest, or that we assume have fallen out of the nest. Or a small fawn or cub. If we are lucky enough to have an engagement with something wild and untamed – leave it be. Most times a parent is close at hand – and much better at looking after their young than us.

Your challenge is to help educate our children and next generation in these core principles of caring and loving the natural world and leaving it intact, as we find it, and enabling everyone to have joy and excitement from nature.

Share with us if you got involved!

Hedgehog Awareness Week 2020

Hedgehog awareness week has finished but that doesn’t mean hedgehogs don’t need your help.
British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS).

Help hedgehogs in your area!

  • Keep your garden tidy and remove litter and netting.

  • Create a log pile for shelter and food.

  • Build a hedgehog home.

  • Reduce or stop using pesticides and poison i.e slug pellets 

  • If you have a pond make sure it has a way of hedgehogs to get in and out. 

  • Check areas of your garden before you mow, move compost heaps, dig deep holes or block holes in fencing. 

  • Never leave bread or milk out in the garden for hedgehogs if you want to feed them leave meaty pet food and shallow dish of fresh water.

  • Link your garden with Hedgehog Highways.

  • Create a wild corner.
Click here to find out about Hedgehog Week
Click here to find out about Hedgehog Highways

The Night Sky

Love stars and looking at the night sky?

Want to learn more about what you are looking at?

Find out that you might be looking at Venus or Mars?

Click here to find a wonderful website that shows you an interactive map of the night sky and also tells you what planets you can see and when.

It also gives information about constellations and stars!

Museums at home

That’s right virtual tours of museums below!

Click the boxes below!

Natural History Museum London
American Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Love birds?

Join in with
RSPB’s #breakfastbirdwatch every morning between 8-9am. Watch from out the window or in the garden.

Share your photos on social media with #breakfastbirdwatch and #wildtime.

Self isolating and love birds?

Follow The Self-Isolating Bird Club and #wildmorningswithchris.

Join Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin plus guests every morning at 9am for live videos about birds and nature!

Bird song?

Want to learn what bird is calling outside your window?

Follow @soundapproachuk on Twitter, for daily updates on bird song. Fantastic if you want to learn new calls or songs or relax to listening to the sounds.

Nature things to do…

Top 10 things to do outdoors, in the garden in the woods or in a field or with outdoor items!
Wherever you are try and give one of these a go!

1. Nature Art

Create a masterpiece, using what you can find that is natural. Write your name, create a dragon, a spider, a unicorn or even a portrait of someone and send them a photo.
Need inspiration click here!

2. Miniature Village

Make your own miniature village, see what creatures wander into your village or maybe leave it for fairies to visit. Using natural items, for example sticks, bark or leaves. Create houses and pathways, shops, eating places, let your imagination go wild. You could even bring nature inside, play items in a shoe box.

3. Signs of Spring

Look out for different plants and animals during this time of year. Frogspawn is now hatching into tadpoles. Birds are nesting and chicks are hatching. Trees are growing their leaves and cherry, blackthorn and apple trees are full of blossom. Butterflies are beginning to appear. Take this opportunity to improve your wildlife identification skills. Here are some helpful links for identifying wildlife.

For Bird identification click here, for Butterflies click here and for Mammals click here.

4. Nature Journal

Start a journal and record your wildlife sightings. Draw pictures of the plants and animals you see, label them with information that you gather. Write about when and where you find them and if it is a bird or animal talk about its behaviour.

For inspiration on Nature Journals click here.

5. Journey Stick

While out for a walk, find a stick and then collect natural items like feather, blossom, leaves, you could stick them on with glue or take some string and tie them on. You could also use wool and wrap it around the stick creating colourful patterns. The stick and decoration could represent parts of the walk or this could be turned into a more mindful activity. Decorations and colours could represent moments in life, the stick represents a life journey. For inspiration click here.

6. Bark or Leaf Rubbing

Grab some crayons and some paper. Place the paper on the tree or place the paper over a leaf on a hard surface, rub the crayon across (top tip crayon on its side) and the pattern will start to appear. This could also be included in a nature journal.

For inspiration click here and for tree identification click here.

7. Rock Painting

You may have come across this one already, but it goes without saying it is a fabulous idea. The possibilities are endless, grab some pens or some paint and find a few rocks or pebbles. If they are going to be put outside you may need to invest in some varnish to protect the paint/pen.
Click here for inspiration and information about the technical parts join @loveontherocksuk.

8. Senses

If you have the opportunity to go outside and listen to the bird song or can walk to a near by outdoor space, woodland or near a hedgerow we encourage you to do this. Focus on your senses, start by closing your eyes what can you hear, what can you smell, what can you taste, open your eyes, what can you see around you and what colours can you see. If you are doing this activity with children, get them to draw or write what they see, hear, smell and taste and if you are outdoors in a safe natural space what can they feel.

9. Word walking games

Play I spy/alphabet game as you go for your walk, go through the alphabet saying things you can see, A for Ant, B for Bench. See if you can get to the end of the alphabet by the end of your walk. Make a story about what you find along the way.
You could also make a story from the wildlife and nature you see along the way. Describe what you see… a branch might be a squirrel highway, create synonyms for the things.

10. Find that Tree

Ideal family activity if you are in the woods or have a few trees around.
1. Blindfold someone and spin them around.
2. Take them to a tree.
3. Let them feel the tree, its trunk, the bark (careful of spikes or thorns).
4. Take them away from the tree and spin them again.
5. Take off the blindfold and see if they can guess which tree they felt.

Attracting Amphibians to your garden

You could help the frogs, toads and newts in your neighbourhood by providing habitat for them.

The most beneficial activity for amphibians is to create a wildlife pond. If you already have seen amphibians in your garden, consider building something near to where you have seen them before.

Watch the video or follow the link the RSPB have created on how to create your very own mini pond which we think is a fantastic idea. Mini ponds will attract other creatures like pond skaters, mayfly nymphs or maybe even damselflies. Birds may also use the water for a bath or a drink. If you do not feel you could create a pond and would still like to help amphibians here is a few more ideas.

Create compost heap (open heaps are more beneficial than enclosed bins) provides habitat for amphibians and invertebrate prey.

Create a log pile – piling up logs, wood, sticks, is fantastic as when wood decomposes it contains moisture. Amphibians prefer to shelter in moist places as their skin can dry out, they also prefer small spaces. When building your log pile add loose soil or wood chippings to fill in larger cavities.

Create a wild corner – Allow some grass in the garden to grow tall, lawns that are cut short are not great for amphibians or their prey. During the winter this can be cut, and the cuttings put on the compost pile. Native plants in your garden will help to attract pollinators which amphibians will prey on.

A video made by the RSPB on how to make a wildlife pond and give nature a home. Let us know if you make a your very own wildlife pond and a share a photo with us on social media. #wfwildtime

Cuddly Documentary

Get the family together and watch a wildlife documentary, find out something new about the fascinating animals we share the planet with. Get your children inspired.
Then collect up some toys and make your own documentaries.

Do your best Sir David Attenborough impression and bring your documentary to life. You do not have to film it or take pictures, you just need plenty of imagination. Create story lines, adventures, maybe even write a script with your children. Do not forget to dress appropriately, its always important to be wearing the right clothing when working with wild animals.

Wildlife Documentary

If you have a budding naturist in the family, encourage them to take that one step further. Find some creatures in your outdoor space, or watch out the window for birds in the skies.

Do some research on on the animals you see and create your own wildlife experience documentary. Give it a name – ‘Life under Lock Down’. Employ staff for the camera and sound crew, you will need a producer, maybe an editor (depends how far you expect your documentary to go). Share your work with family and friends. Let your imagination run wild…

Bug Hotels

How to build

During this time you may feel the need to do something valuable for the invertebrates in your outdoor space. If you do feel this way, we have worked on some information to help you build an invertebrate loving kingdom.

Get everyone in your household involved and see what you can come up with and do not forget to share your work with us on social media.

Location, Location…

Firstly you need to decide where is the bug hotel going to go. Chose a place that combines sun and shade. If you want to attract Bees make sure the south-facing side is in full sun.

The position of your Bug building will ultimately help you decide how big or small it is going to be. You may already have materials that will help you decide on where it is going to go.

The design

You will need to design your bug hotel, this will depend on the materials that you can gather. If you have a pallet this is great place to start. Or if you get some one that is handy with wood, nails and a hammer they could build a purpose built hotel design.

Interior design

You could use any of the following, or anything natural you can find.

  • Wood – this could come in many forms to e.g
  • Sticks, chippings, bark, logs with holes drilled in to them of different sizes.
  • Moss
  • Dry Leaves
  • Old terracotta pots
  • Old roof tiles
  • Straw
  • Hay
  • Pine cones
  • Hollow bamboo canes
  • Dead hollow stems cut from shrubs
  • Pallets
  • Bricks with holes in

Need Inspiration?

Click the icon it will take you to our Pinterest board which is full of ideas.

A Bugs Life!

Need more information about the invertebrates you want to attract?

Click the icon it will take you to the Bug Life website where there is lots of information

Time for a Scavenger Hunt or 2

Scavenger Hunts brought to you by Primary Playground see more here and follow on Pinterest here.

How you can help