Autumn Adventures – A wet woodland walk and conker collecting.

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This weekend, Stu and I went away for our 7 year wedding anniversary, so we only really had Sunday afternoon to spend quality with the kids (mum guilt alert!). The weather over the weekend had been abysmal, which was fine for us as we spent most of our time relaxing in an 18th Century Spa Hotel, however, the girls who had been looked after by my mum, hadn’t had much opportunity to get outdoors. So we decided that despite the wet, we were going to go and spend the afternoon at our local woods, taking in the autumn changes, feeding the ducks and collecting some autumn treasures.

The woods were lovely and peaceful due to the horrid weather and the girls enjoyed squelching through the wet leaves and splashing in puddles.

We fed the ducks some oats and they were extremely vocal and followed us everywhere. The girls pondered whether they were hungry due to not many people visiting and feeding them because of the rain. Either way, they enjoyed our oats!

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Next, the girls rushed to our favourite tree climbing spot, but soon discovered that the bark was very slippery and possibly not ideal for climbing too high as they normally would.

As we were walking round, we spotted many a hungry little squirrel, busily collecting acorns and chestnuts from the ground and feasting happily, this lead to a discussion about hibernation and how it’s important for creatures to fatten up before their long winter sleep.

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We had fun playing on our favourite woodland sculpture, the circular shape has provided many minutes of entertainment to my girls over the years, as they enjoy running around it and playing chase.

As well as balancing along some fallen tree trunks, which in Duckling’s imagination were in fact sleeping dragons, and it was her quest to make it all the way along without waking the creature.

Finally, we came to our favourite horse chestnut tree. It was utterly teeming with conkers and we scurried around the ground, like little squirrels ourselves collecting the ones that had fallen for our Autumn display at home. There is something immensely satisfying about finding one still in it’s shell, the spiky green shell split slightly revealing the shiny brown treasure inside. Lots of opportunity for vocabulary building here! Once we had collected all we could find, we put them in our basket to take home. We plan to create a lovely autumn display jar over the next few days, for our mantelpiece.

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What do you do with conkers once you’ve collected them?

Collecting conkers and playing in the rain are both activities on the National Trust’s #50Things list which we are working on completing on our adventures. 

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