It’s 12 Days Wild! What wild thing have you done today?

Just like our 30 Days Wild challenge in the summer, we are asking you to do one wild thing a day over the festive period, from 25th December to 5th January for #12DaysWild.

If you haven’t started yet don’t worry, you can begin right now just by going and spending 5 minutes outside, looking at the sky and seeing if you can hear any birds.

Today is day 3 of #12DaysWild!
For day 1 I went on a lovely Christmas dog walk, enjoying the sound of the rain on the hood of my coat, and the birds chirping in the hedgerows. Yesterday I went for a walk in the New Forest, and saw lots of mossy fallen trees, and admired a golden glowing sunset.

Day 3… and luckily I am working at Blashford today! I decided I would spend some time outdoors despite the rain, practising my willow weaving skills. Now that our Christmas wreath making activity has come to an end, we need do to something with all the willow, so I am learning how to make bird feeders. They don’t necessarily always go to plan, but practise does (I hope) make perfect, and it feels great to learn a new skill using a natural material.

Let us know your wild acts for nature on social media using the hashtag #12DaysWild and if you’ve done something at Blashford, make sure to #BlashfordLakes too!


Winter craft

Last week we carried on regardless with our craft themed Wild Days Out despite the weather, making the most of our outdoor shelter so we could still have a fire and spending a little more time indoors than we would do normally, in particular on the Thursday. We did though manage a wander in search of firewood – which we saved for another day as everything really was rather soggy – and some outdoor play at lunch time to let off some steam.

Being craft themed, our main aim over the two days was to use the fire to melt some pewter before carefully pouring it into a mould to produce a cast of a natural object. We made some play-dough (one cup of flour, half a cup of salt, two tablespoons of cream of tartar, one table spoon of oil and some water) to use for our moulds which worked really well and could even be re-used once partially baked by the pewter. Acorns, alder cones, pine cones and shells were carefully pressed into the dough then removed, leaving an imprint behind that could be filled with the pewter.

Once the moulds were ready, we carefully heated up some lead-free pewter shot (a mixture of 95% tin, 4% antimony and 1% copper) over the fire in a spoon attached to a long handle, and once melted poured this into the mould.

Once the items had cooled down, they could be removed from the play-dough:

The children really enjoyed having a go at pewter casting and their items all looked fabulous! The shells in particular came out really well, and the pine cones did look like little hedgehogs.

Whilst we were doing this in small groups, they also had a go at modelling with the play-dough, willow weaving, painting and making rush boats.

Despite the weather, a fun time was had by all! Easter’s activities have a somewhat appropriate watery theme as we explore the pond and river. Bookings can be made from Monday, for more details please visit one of the following:

Wet n’ Wild for 7 to 12 year olds on Tuesday 7th April

Splash! for 5 to 8 year olds on Wednesday 8th April