That’s the total number of youngsters who’ve been engaging with A Rocha UK’s ‘environmental encounters’ across West London this spring and summer – by taking part in events at Wolf Fields and Minet.
Wolf Fields is a former ‘drug den’ transformed into a nature reserve by A Rocha UK staff and volunteers. Minet was another derelict area changed into a country park.
‘It’s been a bumper season for us at our two sites,’ said Environmental Education Officer David Melville. ‘The weather has been brilliant. Children across both sites have been learning about habitats, species and plants through exploration, interactive games and song.’
A favourite activity among four to five year-olds remains the highly popular ‘bear hunt’. Parents don’t need to worry – it’s not as dangerous as it might sound.
‘In it we bring to life Michael Rosen’s chant-aloud sensory poem “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt”,’ David explained. ‘The children have an early experience of walking through a small river, mud and a forest which will stay with them for many years to come – if not forever.’
A new activity called the ‘Pollination Party’ has been attracting some attention, according to Education Intern Karolyn Kestner. ‘The aim of this is to raise awareness of the importance of pollination,’ said Karolyn, ‘and to bring together different schools where we’ve been working.’
Children have the chance to experience four different ‘stations’ – exploring bees, pollination and the parts of the flower, fruits and seeds, as well as insects found in grassland habitats. ‘They also have the opportunity to eat a packed lunch together and reflect over the experience with some new friends,’ Karolyn added.