Some of you will already know about the little gem that we have discovered recently here in our extended back garden of Staffordshire. The Wolseley Centre is a true spot of beauty and each time we visit, something more beautiful is discovered. Today it was the river and the pebble covered bed where we went dipping with our fishing net but sadly only caught a rock. Nevertheless, we had endless fun pretending and imagining what creatures the River Trent holds within.
With gentle winding routes that provide a range of nature’s landscapes, little ones can learn and explore the flowers and fauna as well as spot the host of wildlife that flocks to this beauty spot. Giant sculptures of insects and birds adorn pathways, hiding for little explorers to spot. There are even musical instruments for children to get their hands on and experiment with calming sounds (I promise there are no drums or heavy metal sounds! It is a nature reserve after all). A map of the reserve indicates the sections that can be explored including the sensory gardens.
Amongst the wildlife you will spot ducks, dragon flies, birds, insects and perhaps most enchanting of all at the moment a swan nesting (a pen) being guarded very closely by her cob or as Mrs VFAD called him – her ‘man swan’. If you are going to visit, be warned that he is very protective and has been known to hiss and perform the odd flap to distance anyone straying too close. The cygnets are due to arrive over the coming weeks. Dogs are welcome to join you but must be kept on a lead to avoid disturbing the habitat.
The Wolseley Centre has loads of fab activities around the calendar for anyone to get involved. While we visited today a primary school group were exploring with clipboards and nets (the teacher in Mrs VFAD got all excited). Pond dipping can be booked as well as other nature themed fun adventure activities for toddlers under 5 and their parents / carers on 8th and 22nd June 2016. For those with older kids between 8-13 year olds, the centre is holding a ‘Wild Week Out’ between 8-12th August 2016 (check out the website for more details). I’m looking forward to Summer Strawberries and Cream on 10th June when a Bee Walk is also taking place (local charges apply – booking advance is required).
You could picnic in this beauty spot or you could visit the cafe in the shop that holds lots of practical and attractive things for the garden (I have my eye on a bug hotel) as well treats for your little explorers. Each time we’ve visited, we been drawn to the freezer for the locally produced Red Lion Farm ice cream.
So, if you haven’t already been and you’re looking for somewhere that offers a living landscape, has pathways and routes that are accessible and is free (donation car park charge applies) get down to the Wolseley Centre and take a pound or two for duck food and at least one ice cream!
See more of our pictures here!
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