A week to the day after the hottest London Marathon Sunday on record, we held the Open Day in the Woodlands on one of the coldest days imaginable. No rain but a bitter wind and low temperatures.
So we were delighted and surprised by the number of people, and in particular families with young children, who visited the Woodlands. Between 60 and 70 attended and a good time was had by all. Cakes and snacks were available from a stall in the glade under a tarpaulin which (erected without Rich’s assistance) it had taken other members of the committee a considerable time to erect in the morning. Luckily the wind was not that strong, or we might have lost it.
There was pond dipping with large amounts of mud, weed and the occasional tadpole being fished out by children and parents using our large nets. The contents were transferred to dishes and microscopes enabled children to examine what they had found.
In addition, there was a stall where children were encouraged to colour cut outs of trees and make necklaces from things found in the woods. Large numbers of worms were excavated and there were areas for children to dig (using the children’s tools acquired by the Friends last year) prior to being planted with a wild flower mix. Finally, there were the bees. Posters set out the story of the Westcombe Bees and their hives, and Jeremy and Andrew (our two apiarists) were on hand to field the questions.
It would be over-stating things to say that there was a carpet of bluebells but clumps have now become established as have clumps of primroses. A pictorial quiz to find and identify flowers and leaves was prepared by Don and enthusiastically taken up by children with some 12 completed surveys.
What was particularly encouraging was the number of visitors who had not been to the Woodlands before and said that they would become Friends or volunteers.