Hidden Kingdoms: In search of the invisible

In summer, the little woodland becomes a dark and shaded place. Leaves grow with such veracity that the canopy above lets in less light than any other time of the year. I share today’s walk with my 12 year old son. It is so quiet here. Sudden rustles of foliage or scraping on bark reminds…

Springtime at Home: English oaks and white bluebells

My two middle sons run down the hill together, so close in age that they are almost the same height. The trees dwarf them. When I think back to this wood, I never imagine the trees being so tall; it seems such a close, small place in my memory. Spring is still with us and…

Winter woodland: The delight to be found in the simplest of things

Dusk falls in the winter woodland. The birdsong echoes out more clearly without the rustle of summer leaves. My 18 month old daughter has recently learnt the word, “another.” From behind me, where she sits in her carrier, she excitedly calls “tree!” A pause. “An-o-ther tree!” A pause. We wait. Luckily, she has been distracted…

Winter … and a welcome return to tree climbing

Our visit to Bradgate today is a special one.  It is a welcome return to tree climbing.  Our second eldest son has spent the last six months recovering from a broken arm, caused by a painful cyst in the bone. To our immense relief, he has had an all-clear that everything has healed and he…

A journey through the rhododendron labyrinth

Very early on Easter Sunday we visited the Labyrinth at Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire.  At this time of day it was completely empty and we were able to listen to the birdsong all around us.  We also took a video, so that you could travel into the centre of the rhododendron tunnels with…

Searching for bluebells – watching the seasons with children

After the first few days of warm spring weather, any bluebell plants outside of the forest canopy, with full exposure to the sunlight, burst into flower.  One of our favourite spots is a quiet glade in the centre of the forest, and this is often where our first bluebells of the year are found. Always, the…

The Secret Forest Rope Swing

I had to ask the children’s permission to share this with you, because this post gives away the existence of their secret forest rope swing… they’ve agreed, as long as you keep it to yourselves. In previous posts we’ve shown the farmland and woodlands that are right beside our home, whilst this is one of…