On Saturday we enjoyed the second session of the Oakwood Park Family Wildlife Club. Below you can read about the fun we’ve had over the first two sessions.
Club Session 1: Spring into Spring
On the 22nd of March Wild Capital celebrated the very first of our Family Wildlife Club sessions at Oakwood Park, Enfield. As I was setting up for the session the heavens opened with piercing horizontal hail stones! However it seemed the weather was ultimately on our side and once the session began hail blew over and the sun came out. The club is for children aged 5 to 12 and their families, with activities designed to be fun for adults as well as kids. We had a great turnout of 15 children and their families. This first session, “Spring into Spring”, focused on spring time goings on, particularly bird song.
We went for a bird spotting walk around the park and with a great team of spotters saw many species, including Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. We enjoyed a round of Birdsong Bingo, hearing a huge array of different bird sounds, and shouting “bingo” in our loudest voices! Next it was time to stretch our wings with a couple of running around games about predators and prey. There were a few very speedy Sparrowhawks in the group! After two hours crammed full of discovery and fun it was time to call it a day, until the next session.
Club Session 2: Beneath the Surface
On Saturday the 3rd of May, in the glorious sunshine, we enjoyed the second session of the Oakwood Park Family Wildlife Club. The club was full to capacity with 30 children coming along with their families! Our goal was to discover the watery world of Oakwood Park pond.
The session kicked off with a large scale pond dip. Adults and children were amazed at just how many daphnia were caught; uncountable numbers! They are an important part of the pond food chain. There were also water boatmen, water mites, pond snails, freshwater shrimp, worms, leeches and lots of larvae. Magnifying glasses provided close up viewing of the creatures caught. Pictorial keys allowed everyone to figure out what kinds of animal they were catching. Some wonderful observational drawings were produced. I particularly liked drawings of the “the squiggly larvae” and “the water mite who is celebrating his 6th birthday.”
After the pond dip we experienced what it is like to live as a pond creature, by acting out the different ways they breath. We used gills like a mayfly nymph and carried bubbles of air around with us like a water boatman.
Next we learnt about how mayflies begin life as an egg, live underwater as larvae then emerge as winged adults and make eggs themselves. This was a great excuse for a game! The “Magic Mayflies” took on the “Marvellous Mayflies” for a lifecycle relay race.
The day ended with the children putting out some seed for the ducks, coots and moorhens of Oakwood Park pond.
Mayflies in flight!
The feedback from the first club sessions has been uniformly positive with all adults rating the club as a 9 or 10 out of 10 and all children describing it as “brilliant”. We look forward to future club sessions through the year. The club meets approximately every 6 weeks through 2014. Sessions are free, funded by Enfield Council, but booking is required. See the Upcoming page for more information.
Contact us if you are interested in setting up a Wildlife Club in your area.