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 email@example.com.
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.
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…
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.
Next Episode: Thursday 9th April at 12pm
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 is 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 loos 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. #wildtime #wildernessfoundationuk
Spring has sprung! Have you spotted these plant species?
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), the pale green leaves of this hedgerow staple are often the first to appear in spring, with an explosion of pretty pale flowers in May. This tree is home to many invertebrates and birds will feed on the red berries during autumn.
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), this tree is most famous for Conkers, the very essence of autumn. During the spring this tree produces huge leaves around a flower head that looks much like a candle. A mature horse chestnut can grow to 40m and live to 300 years.
Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna), this plant has just started to show its pretty yellow flowers which brighten up the forest floor. The flower reminds us of a woodland buttercup. The leaves of this plant are similar to the shape of a lily pad.
Common Ivy (Hedera Helix), this fabulous climbing plant is excellent for all kinds of species, that can hide amongst the leaves and stems. It is a familiar evergreen (stays green all year) vine that has a long history of medicinal use in ancient Greece it was used to reduce swelling, and natural anaesthetic.
Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa), this tree flowers bloom early in the year you will be able to see them right now. Look out for snow white flowers, later on in the year they will produce an dark blue/purple fruit called Sloes.
Primrose (Primula Vulgaris) with pale yellow flowers 3cm across with a rosette of wrinkled leavers tapering gradually up to about 15cm long. This plant will be one of the first to appear in the woodlands. The name derives from the Latin prima rose meaning first rose of the year although it is not in the rose family.
Dogs Mercury (Mercurialis perennis), this poisonous woodland plant can fill the forest floor in early spring and bring the first signs of colour. This plant has spear-shaped, toothed leaves with greenish flowers in spring.
Wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa) a pretty star shaped spring flower of ancient woodlands (these are woods over 400 years old). Its white flowers bloom between March and May before the canopy above becomes too dense. It is a low growing plant with deeply lobed leaves and a thin red stem.
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.
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.
You will need to design your bug hotel, this will depending 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.
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.
- Dry Leaves
- Old terracotta pots
- Old roof tiles
- Pine cones
- Hollow bamboo canes
- Dead hollow stems cut from shrubs
- Bricks with holes in
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
Have a look outside can you find some natural items from sticks to feathers or dead leaves. Make your own dragon, or spider or anything to can think of.
Once you have completed your finished piece tag us in a photo on social media. #wildernessfoundationuk
Suitable for: 1 -99 years old
A fearsome stick, leaf dragon breathing fire! Forest dragons are terrifying creatures but once you get to know them they are soft and caring with big hearts, they love cookies.
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 path ways, shops, eating places, let your imagination go wild. You could even bring nature inside, play items in a shoe box.
We want to see your creations send us a photo of your wild project. #wildernessfoundationuk
Suitable for: 1-99 years old
A woodland miniature village, we wonder who lives here, is it the forest elves or fairies. They have their own house, a small garden and picnic table. We wonder when they will be back its very quiet here, what can we build for them? Wonder if the would like a some chairs for their picnic table.
Signs of Spring
Check out our frogs on the Chatham Green Project, they have been laying frogs spawn. Around 20 frogs where seen surrounded by frogs spawn. Tadpoles will hatch out in a few weeks time, they will eat the remaining jelly from their own eggs and eggs of their brothers and siblings this is their first meal. Once they have eaten this they will explore the pond in search of more food, the more they eat they more they grow. Then they form back legs, then front legs, they begin to take shape of a small frog and their tail shrinks, they are now frog-lets and can begin exploring the world outside of the pond.