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Nature Nurture thoughts...

Dr. William Bird’s ‘Beat the Street’ goes Wild!

Dr. William Bird is the Strategic Health Advisor for Natural England developing the Natural Health Service that will use the natural environment as a major health resource in England. He's also the bloke behind RSPB's report, Natural Thinking....and he's behind Beat the Street...and CEO of Intelligent Health and loads of other amazing stuff, and now...de de deeerrrrr ...he's behind us!

Dr. William Bird says, "The Wild Town concept created by Nature Nurture is a perfect example of using urban spaces to get the community active, address health inequities and simply enjoy their town."

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Two weeks to go: Pledge your support for The Wild Reading project!

We’re on a mission to give children the chance to be happy, have fun, enjoy nature and get active outdoors in their local green space.

Reading, like many towns has loads of wild spaces, where children can roam free, play and learn. Sadly, these spaces are underused by the community. And it’s not just our town - parents across the land are struggling to get their kids away from the screens, outside, active and having fun. We’re through to the final of ITV’s People’s Millions and we need your vote to WIN £50,000. We’re on telly on 24th November and we’re going to need 1000s of people across the land to pick up the phone and vote for ‘The WIld Reading project’.
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Families go Wild at the McIlroy Park Family Wild Day

It had been raining for days and when the Nature Nurture team arrived at McIlroy Park early morning on Saturday, it was still tipping down.

Would anyone be coming out today?

But then the sun broke through, the sky became blue and the families came pouring in to join the Wild West adventure!

“99 children and 70 adults joined us for the Family Wild Day” says Natalie, Director of Nature Nurture CIC, “Many people said they lived nearby, but hadn’t visited the park before. We had an array of wild activities on offer and families could follow the activity trail through the woods.”
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Prospect Park Family Wild Day – what fun!

ProspectWildDay20th

Thanks to everyone who came to the Prospect Park Family Wild Day. Around 150 people turned up!

They were given a map on arrival, that showed them where discover a range of wild activities, including building a giant bug, searching for golden letters in the Tunnel of Doom, bug hunting, den building, making jewelry from Elder and wild art. It was great to collaborate with our local Children's Centres and Judy from the Tilehurst Globe conservation group. Many local people said they enjoyed the day and that they'd definitely come back to explore the wild places again.

If you missed this one, don't miss our next Wild Family Day at McIlroy park - 11th October 10am to 2pm. Either 'join' on our Facebook page, or comment below so that we know how many people are coming.

Thanks to Joe Gammie from The Reading Chronicle for this lovely article.

The Wild West is in Full Swing…come and join the fun!

The Nature Nurture team have been galloping around the Wild West and the children are going wild!

We're following the Urban Playrangers as they venture around Reading's Parks. Next up on 13th August, is a session at Ranikhet Children's Centre, 10.30am - 12pm (Spey Road, Tilehurst) then we're zooming to Amersham Road Children's Centre (Caversham) from 2pm - 3.30pm.

Then, coming soon...

15th August - Prospect Park Play Day - 10am to 4pm

20th September - Prospect Park Family Wild Day - 10.30 to 3.30pm

11th October - McKilroy Park Family Wild Day - 10am to 2pm

29th November - Lantern making and evening Tree Discovery Procession (Battle Library and Prospect Park)

We would like to thank Awards for All, England Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief and Reading Borough Council for their generous support of this project.

It’s time to book a Wild Party…

Last Saturday the thunder clapped, the rain poured down and 10 ten year olds (including the birthday girl) made camps, bows and arrows and skidded down a muddy slope before tucking into a grand picnic.
Here's what the mother had to say...

My daughter is an outdoorsy sort of girl so a wild party suited her down to the ground. She and her friends spent an 'awesome' (her words) time making bows and arrows, and playing natives, not to mention sliding down wet grassy banks too. She didn't want the party to end, and my other children are now desperate for a similar party for their birthdays! What I loved about it was that it was so stress free for me.......Nature Nurture took complete control, and it was all outdoors and healthy too......what's not to like! Oh and I ordered food from Crumbs Food Co, which was amazing, great value and very much enjoyed by the children, especially the bespoke cup cakes. Nature Nurture liaised with them regarding delivery times and place - all very civilized. It was worth every single penny, and we will be coming back for more.
Dorothy Yuille

Are you looking for an amazing party for your child this year? Have you had enough of Bear Quest and Lazer Crazies? Get in touch and we can talk about the Wild Parties and Arty Parties we offer in the Reading area.

By hook or by crook – The Earley Charity have awarded us a grant!

We are delighted to hear the news that our grant application to The Earley Charity was successful!

This will enable us to run a programme of Wild activities for local children. Our first event will be in conjunction with the Earley Green Fair, which takes place at The Maiden Erleigh Nature Reserve on 2nd August. Children, young people and their parents will be able to take part in bug hunting, den building, build-a-bridge challenge, survival skills and more....

Join the Wild Network!

If you're an organisation working with wildness, the outdoors, outdoor play, outdoor education, or nature re­connection then please join The Wild Network

The Nature Nurture team are proud to be part of The Wild Network - a campaigning organisation that came about as a result of the Project Wild Thing Film. I recently took part in The Wild Network 'Swarm' in Bristol. This two day event brought together loads of organisation including The National Trust, RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts, all with a shared mission to connect children and young people with nature. Here is a short film shot during the Swarm.....

By amazing coincidence I bumped into Geoff McMullan - he played a part in the film along with his owl Merlin ... we were on the same expedition in Belize back in 1998! He now runs an organisation called Pathfinder UK . It was great to catch up.

Mud, Glorious mud…

“Children have a natural fascination to touch and to feel things - it's part of existing in the world. It's not the kids that have said they don’t want to put their hands in the mud or jump in the pond, it's the adults that have said no.”

Chris Packham, naturalist and TV presenter

I like mud, but I didn't realise until the other day, just how many things you can do with it! It was a wet day and I was off to The Rocking Horse Nursery to run another Forest School session with six 3-4 year olds. I didn't tell them what to do, but just laid out a few buckets, trowels and paint brushes. Some got into it straight away, whilst others approached with trepidation. Buckets were filled with mud and water, then off they went to squidge and squelch mud and paint trees! It was a serious business - some were at it for over half an hour.

I wonder whether not so many years ago, before we became obsessed with cleanliness and adult-made toys, mud play was a pretty normal thing to do.

In the Early Years world, mud play is recognised as a beneficial form of play - so much so, that there is even an International Mud Day!

So if you're at a loose end with your kids over Easter, just take buckets and spades, a big paint brush or too and a bottle of water (unless it has been raining) and get stuck in! You'll find even more muddy ideas here.