A Fabulously Freaky Family Fun Day!

A Fabulously Freaky Family Fun Day!

George Cook

Enjoy a sneak peak into our fun day celebrating diversity!

Have you ever wondered why some bats have ears which are nearly the length of their bodies, or why some bees have long party blower tongues? Are you curious about the rattling songs of meadow grasshoppers, or the tweezer-tipped beak of a goldfinch? Does the world of wildlife leave you in awe?

Us too! That’s why we invited children and their families for a Fabulously Freaky fun day at our Grow Wilder site in Stapleton, where together we could dive into the diversity of the natural world and celebrate the features (or superpowers!) that make every individual species on earth special.

Joined by Bristol-based authors Alex Morss and Sean Taylor, we dressed up as long eared owls, bats, and the superstar of summer, the cockchafer, an adorable, funky antennae-wearing beetle!  Nestled in our outside tent for a live reading from the new bestselling children’s book ‘Funny Bums, Freaky Beaks and other Incredible Creature Features’, we were taken on a whistle stop tour of life on earth with rhymes, riddles, and drums!

We created our own crazy creatures including “fogths” (fox,hedgehog,moth) and “Bations” (half bat half lion), went on minibeast quests, and got close and personal with newly emerged cinnabar moths. We danced like glorious oaks, and imagined ourselves in the belly of a boa constrictor. We looked for birds, examined nests and skulls, and basked in the beat boxing of a noisy wren. We ate lunch together, gobbled cake at our newly opened Grow Wilder Cafe, and shared our experiences of the wildlife on our doorsteps.

We waved off the little ones as they left, riotously tired, from a day of wild fun, trundling through pathways swathed with daisies and swaying their handmade flags with their messages of support for nature, as clouds of hoverflies and foraging bees swarmed around them.

Every family was gifted a wildflower of their choice from our wildflower nursery, allowing everyone to provide a home for the incredible creatures we share our neighbourhoods with.

The feedback from parents was wonderful. One said that it was “An amazing educational venue that feeds your spirit and your brain. We learned loads and would love to come back again and again. Great! Thank you!”

We are extremely grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for making this event possible. It was wonderful to be able to connect with each other, get stuck into some wild play and take action for nature. Hooray!

This event was a one-off, but there are plenty of other opportunities to get involved with nature over the summer. For example, we run monthly Wildlife Watch clubs at our Grow Wilder site on the first Saturday on every month. It’s the perfect chance for budding nature enthusiasts aged 5 - 10 and their families to get a closer look at bugs, birds and more.

We also have some exciting events for young people and adults in the diary. For example, you might want to try ‘Birds of Prey Identification’ with Ed Drewitt at our magical Folly Farm reserve, or “Introduction to Ecology” with Matt Collis at Grow Wilder. Alternatively, if it’s more convenient for you to get involved from the comfort of home, you might prefer our online learning courses.

However you want to get involved, it’s worth taking a leaf from the books of the young party goers at our Fabulously Freaky Fun Day, and allow yourselves to go wild, get muddy, and celebrate the freedom to get out and enjoy nature once again.