It's all go in the Wild West! Thanks to two years funding from The People's Health Trust we're gonna re-wild the child in a couple of amazing spaces - McIlroy Park and Lousehill Copse. Tomorrow we'll be out there braving the wind and rain with the gang...
The project involves weekly 'Wild West Wednesdays' with Norcot Children's Centre, a monthly 'Wild West Saturday Club' and three 'Family Wild Days' in collaboration with Norcot Early Years Centre.
We've joined forces with 'Friends of McIlroy Park' too - this tireless wild bunch have been looking after the park for over 40 years! We'll be building dens, creating wild art, foraging and cooking wild, hunting mini-beasts, storytelling, making lanterns, learning about trees and our forest dwelling animal chums...and a great deal more to boot!
This is the first time that we've had the opportunity to spend time in the same wild space with the same people over such a time span and we reckon we can work with our partners to make a lasting impact.
As part of the project we've formed a 'Wild Steering Team'- this combination of parents, child-carers (like the amazing Kirsty) and conservation volunteers are exploring the barriers that get in the way of our children spending time outdoors and co-designing the programme. A couple of local ladies remember when spending time in the wild was part and parcel of family life. They raised their families in Thirlmere Avenue and at any moment would call over to a neighbour, "What are you up to today? Want to come up to McIlroy?". Families would spread out the picnic mats and children would enjoy the wild. Our vision is to make this commonplace for today's kids.
And...do you remember 'Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead?' Well this project includes a film budget and we're making a series of short videos led by the kids, showing various things you can do in the wild. You can reminisce by watching this clip.
So howdi partners and catch you some time in the wild!
Thanks to Lynda Bowyer Photography for this fine photo.
The funders are really specific about the project beneficiaries - if you live in the map area above then get in touch!