It was just another evening at Norcot Community Centre...or was it?
Who are they with giant ears coming out of their hats? Hey...it's Poco Drom and the long-locked flautist? Why, that's The Green Man! Oh my and all those people with their lanterns, braving it outside on this winter evening...
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.
Hundreds of families picnicing in the park, a group of children singing animal songs, another group making weird and wonderful creatures out of clay and painting butterflies...then venture deep into the wood to discover children creeping along a blindfold trail and learning about trees. Walk across the meadow past the bug hunters and there’s a stream - the children are helping themselves to welly boots and they’re paddling away!
What’s going on? It’s a Family Wild Day.
Nature Nurture are on a mission to give people the chance to play, learn, enjoy nature and get active outdoors in their local green space.This August the Nature Nurture team provided Family Wild Days at Arthur Newbery Park, Palmer Park, Prospect Park and Waterloo Meadows thanks to £9900 funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund and a grant from Blade-based company Olswang. Natalie Ganpatsingh, Nature Nurture’s Director said “ These 4 days have been amazing; local families have been out in droves exploring the wild spaces Reading has on offer. We were hoping for 80 or so people to come along but 3 of our Wild Days had a turnout of over 400! It looks like Reading families are really going wild!”
Jas Millington who went to the Palmer Park event with her kids aged 5 and 3 yrs said “It was so lovely to have an event which makes them appreciate nature & wildlife, discover & explore for themselves & have fun! Thank you.”
Nature Nurture like to collaborate with local conservation groups and were joined by the Tilehurst Globe at Arthur Newbery Park. They are now applying for more funding to run Family Wild Days in May / June 2016, to tie in with Beat the Street and Reading Year of Culture 2016. They're also devising a Doodle Tree Trail in the town centre with The Museum of Reading and local artists.
Members of The Wild Network
We’re proud to be part of The Wild Network, whose mission is to support children, parents and guardians of children to roam free, play wild and connect with nature. An amazing film, Project Wild Thing, kickstarted this nationwide movement and we’re going to create ‘The Wild Town Toolkit’ which we’ll share with other organisations across the land who want to make their own town go wild!
See what other people are saying about Wild Town here
Take a Walk on the Wild Side - there's more to Reading than you know...
FREE outdoor fun for kids this Summer. Bring your child/ren to an amazing Family Wild Day! Happening from 5th to 8th August at various Wild Spaces around the town. We'll be providing an array of WILD activities including den building, wild art and music, mini-beast quests, conservation skills, storytelling and more.
Saturday 8th August - Waterloo Meadows 10.30am to 3.30pm
Suitable for children aged 2 to 12. For all events, we ask that parents/ carers stay with their children. On 5th and 6th August at 1.30pm, we'll be joined by the Urban Play Rangers and on the 7th August we're part of Reading Play's Play Day. See Nature Nurture CIC page to 'join' - we'd love to know you're coming.
You can drop in at any time - why not bring a picnic and make a day of it?
Crikey! Tim Gill is one of the UK’s leading thinkers on childhood, and an effective advocate for positive change in children’s everyday lives...and he supports The Wild Reading Campaign!
Tim was Director of the Children’s Play Council (now Play England) from 1997 to 2004. In 2002 he was seconded to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to lead the first ever Government-sponsored review of children’s play. Tim’s book No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society was published with great acclaim. Tim says:
Everyone agrees that regular contact with the natural world is part and parcel of a healthy childhood. Yet far too few children know what it is like to make a daisy chain, chase falling leaves or feel the mud between their toes. We need to figure out how to reconnect children and families with the green spaces that are on their doorstep. The Wild Town project is a great opportunity to do just that. This Berkshire town could pave the way for a nationwide movement to help children rediscover the joys of nature.Tim Gill, independent researcher and author
Mike Read and Teresa Verney-Brookes take a trip down memory lane, remembering when all kids got to play outdoors.
Our very own Wild Reading film - find out what happened to Joe when he heard The Call of the Wild...
This short film shows what we've been up to in the Wild West of Reading. We're even more ambitious now; we want to enable children from the whole of the Reading area to go wild in their local green space. Your Telephone Vote on Monday 24th November will help us achieve this.
We’re proud to be part of The Wild Network, whose mission is to support children, parents and guardians of children to roam free, play wild and connect with nature. An amazing film, Project Wild Thing, kickstarted this nationwide movement and as part of the project we’re going to create ‘The Wild Town Toolkit’ which we’ll share with other organisations across the land who want to make their own town go wild!
Wow! TV Producer, author and naturalist Stephen Moss supports The Wild Reading Campaign!
This chap is BIG. He's the guy behind The National Trust's 'Natural Childhood' report, BBC's Springwatch and he's often found working with his chums David Attenborough, Bill Oddie, Alan Titchmarsh & Chris Packham. Stephen says:
"The so-called Urban Jungle is actually a great place for wildlife to live - towns like Reading provide everything they want in terms of food, water, places to sleep and places to breed. And towns are also a great place to watch wildlife - urban creatures are pretty used to people and often allow you to get really close. And engaging with wildlife isn't just great fun, it's also really good for you - and free!"
- Stephen Moss, Naturalist, Author and TV Producer
Listen to Teresa Verney-Brookes bigging up The Wild Reading Project with Phil Kennedy on BBC Radio Berkshire.