Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Community and Learning Teams hone den-building and wild art skills

Anyone walking in the Wildlife Discovery Area last Tuesday in Anglesey's Hoe Fen might have been surprised to see a group of grown ups lugging logs and branches around and making mud pies. The activities were part of a day organised by Janet for the Community and Learning Teams at Anglesey and Wicken to give us a flavour of the practical activities that our community groups and visitors can get involved in this year, and to have a go ourselves. It was a great opportunity to try out den-building and mini wild art, to share ideas and to get to meet others in the teams. 

Some of us will be putting our new found skills into practice at the Wild Art Day on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May at Anglesey Abbey, and with visiting school groups.

If you're out and about near the Discovery Cabin in Hoe Fen, look out for these ...

Kate Boursnell
Community Reporter

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Highfield School help Anglesey get ready for latest land art project

Building a bird's nest big enough to play in takes a bit of pre-planning. On Wednesday, Bill and I helped students and staff from Highfield School in Ely to gather cones and moss to line the nest. Moss grows really well on the shady woodland floor in Hoe Fen, so it didn't take long to fill two big bin liners with soft springy moss. As one of the students said, "I liked collecting moss, I think I did a good job."

Then we moved on to the area of pine trees behind the Redwoods restaurant to collect cones.


There weren't too many to be found here, so we tried under the trees in the Emperor's Walk. We were much luckier here, with dozens of cones (especially long thin ones) carpeting the ground under the trees. We also found some fungi, which we think were probably puffballs. They were darker in colour than normal, but this might have been because they were quite old. Any thoughts?

Everyone had worked so quickly to collect the moss and cones, that we had time to explore the Winter Garden before it was time for Highfield to leave. There was some discussion about who should carry the trug of cones, as it was quite heavy, but every one took their turn.

Even if the snowdrops have passed their peak, they still look wonderful, and the cyclamens, crocuses and hellebores are coming in into flower too. We stopped to chat to visitors and to take in the colours. Simply stunning!


And the giant bird's nest? See how St Philip's School and Cambridge University student volunteers built the nest, and lined it with our moss and cones: http://wickenandangleseycommunity.blogspot.co.uk/2013_03_01_archive.html

Next time you visit the Redwoods restaurant, why not have a look?

Kate Boursnell
Community Reporter

Monday, 11 March 2013

Bringing Hoe Fen to the restaurant

On Saturday we had a great day at Anglesey Abbey doing some land art. We brought together two our community groups, children from St Phillips school who regularly visit Anglesey to help with projects and Student Volunteers from Cambridge University who, through the National Trust Society, have helped us with a range of tasks this year.

We wanted to create a fun outdoor space for children to play in in the Anglesey Restaurant Garden, taking inspiration from the outdoor play areas in the Hoe Fen Wildlife Discovery Area.

So take 10 pupils, 6 Students, 1 artist (Becca) and 2 big piles of sticks and what do you get?

A giant outdoor nest to play in!

Nina was our measuring stick, we had to get taller than her!

It was a really fun day with everyone working well to together and having a lot of fun despite the cold, the restaurant provided us with a great lunch to keep the workers well fuelled, the hot chocolate was the particular favourite. Everyone appeared to be very proud of what they had achieved!

You can see some of Beccas other work at http://www.rebeccalouiselaw.com/

Community Ranger