Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Geocaching jaunt

For our November family adventure guide sharing day we ventured out to Wicken Fen to try our hand at geocaching. Lucy filled us in on all things geocache in a fab presentation. We were all really impressed that she had found over 700 geocaches! Looks like we've got quite a bit of catching up to do!

Geocaching is a massive treasure hunt covering countries from all over the world. There are 2,527,582 active geocaches. Using a GPS or smartphone you can track down hidden caches. Some have little treasures you can take (as long as you replace it with something) and they come in all shapes and sizes. They might be hidden behind a log, up a tree or even under water! 

When we found the caches, Lotte wrote her name in the log book and left a little trinket for the next person to find. One geocache we opened had a rock in!

We had perfect weather for our treasure hunt and beautiful views across the fens.

Along the way we saw lots of lapwings and heard the beautiful call of a Cetti warbler. It seemed a little shy though so we didn’t get to spot it.

After our successful finds, we were lucky enough with the weather to sit outside for our picnic. Can you believe it’s still November?

If you're interested in becoming a family adventure guide then join us for our January recruitment. Come along to one of our open days and follow up workshops, arrival 10am with a 1pm finish:
Open days - Saturday 10 or Tuesday 13 January
Workshops - Saturday 17 or Tuesday 20 January
Email our volunteer team to find out more and let us know you’re coming:

Sophie Atkinson 
Anglesey Abbey
Family Volunteering Project Co-ordinator and Community Engagement Assistant

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Bird box bonanza

We love birds at Anglesey Abbey. That’s why we give them a helping hand by giving them lovely bird boxes to make their homes. Dotted around Hoe Fen, you’ll spot them tucked away out of harm’s way.

Once a year they need a clear out though. This stops nasty parasites building up and makes room for new nests next year. So this year we set off on a little bit of a treasure hunt to find all the boxes and clear them out. Julie did sterling work clearing them out (and also spotting them!).

Julie really took a lichen to cleaning out moss!

We all had a bit of a surprise to find an adult blue tit still nesting in one!!

Our feathery friend

It was reluctant to fly but after close inspection the poor fellow seemed fine. Nice to know our nest boxes are being used though. Hopefully next year we’ll have lots of new birds moving in!

Sophie Atkinson
Anglesey Abbey
Family Volunteering Project Co-ordinator and Community Engagement Assistant

Photography © Sophie Atkinson

Friday, 7 November 2014

Shiver m'timbers!

A group of pirates have descended on Hoe Fen, bracing the cold weather, to give our boat treehouse a well-earned facelift.

The swashbuckling crew hail from Rowan which is a Cambridge City based charity and arts centre which brings artists and learning-disabled people together to produce artwork and crafts. Thanks to the hardworking crew, our boat is now afloat on beautiful blue waves!

Thank you Rowan!

Sophie Atkinson

Anglesey Abbey

Family Volunteering Project Co-ordinator and Community Engagement Assistant

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Gutter Bridged

Today is a good day for an update on the Gutter Bridge community woodland project in Swaffham Bulbeck. 

Since the last update - http://wickenandangleseycommunity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/new-community-woodland-plans.- the lease has been signed so the land is now leased to the Parish Council and the village steering group has been moving things forward. 

Fortunately one of their members is a master craftsman and has built a bridge to cross the stream which was installed in September,. This provides safe an easy access for villagers to the woodland with out going on the road. 

Since the nesting bird season  finished the rangers have been back to having working parties int he woodland, and have cleared the entrance way, making it nice and light and open. Today they have planted 3000 native bluebell bulbs in the first glade which they cleared last year. 

It was a tactical affair with well planned markers and bags of 100 bulbs to go around each one, nice and evenly. The reality may have been different when people were faced with 3000 bulbs, and certainly my approach ended up beging slightly more like sling them in and hope for the best (don't tell the organiser)! We will see the results when hopefully a blanket of purple covers the glade next spring!

Lois Baker

Community Ranger
Wicken Fen

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Campsite Facelift

On Monday a team of volunteers from BT helped us to make some improvements to our wild camp site. After a very popular summer with lots of bookings and groups using the site to enjoy a wild night under the stars the site was in need of some TLC. 

The group from BT replaced the front of the Eco-Loo which was getting a bit holey no ideal when you're trying to use the loo. They also added some steps up the side of the ramp which has been a popular shortcut through the summer. 

The trees which have got well established were all weeded an their tree guards lowered, as well

The team enjoyed a fire at the site and there was time for marshmallow break between all the hard work!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Weird and wonderful wild art

Fabulous creations have been appearing across the lawn. Our lovely team of family adventure guides have been being creative with natural materials they have found around the gardens, and just look what impressive creations they’ve made!! Can you tell what they all are?

This autumn, why not come and create your own wild art? Feel free to use natural resources you can find or grab a bucket from reception. What will you make?

Sophie Atkinson
Anglesey Abbey
Family Volunteering Project Co-ordinator and Community Engagement Assistant

Monday, 13 October 2014

Photo-competition winners (you get the picture)

Congratulations to the winners of our photo-competition!

Our adult winner sent us this lovely picture (below). It really captures the sense of fun and exploration at Anglesey Abbey. We love it!

Our young photographer winner sent in this beautiful picture of a flower. We love the use of contrast. 

Both our winners received a voucher for our gift shop and their photos are up on our community wall, along with some of the other entries we particularly liked.

Keep a look out for our next photo-competition and do continue to send in pictures and stories for our community wall.

Email angleseyabbeywall@nationaltrust.org.uk with any items for the community wall.

Sophie Atkinson
Family Volunteering Project Co-ordinator and Community Engagement Assistant