Explore autumn treasures with My Wild Child

(c) Amy Lewis

As we enjoy the end of summer we start to get ourselves ready for autumn and what’s in store during this beautiful season. The days are getting shorter but the sun is still bright and the sunsets and colours around us are spectacular. Alongside schools starting again, bags being packed and lots of new material to learn for our young nature lovers, Avon Wildlife Trust’s My Wild Child sessions are starting back up again after the summer holidays for a new year of wildlife and learning in nature.

We’ve had a long break, but are excited to run our three toddler sessions for families in three Bristol neighbourhoods over the school terms. We have begun our sessions again this week, and have started thinking about the signs of autumn that are slowly appearing. If you’re able to join us, expect to enjoy wild play and take part in fun nature-based activities with our wonderful learning team.

A time of plenty, there are magical autumn treasures of all shapes, sizes and colours that you can start to spot throughout our city parks and green spaces. Here are some that you can look out for in Bristol, while you’re at one of our sessions or simply enjoying some time outdoors with your little ones:

Nuts and seeds: Horse chestnuts may be spikey on the outside, but there’s a shiny treasure found on the inside in the form of a conker which are great for autumn games. Chestnuts and hazelnuts are also in abundance, and can be roasted and enjoyed with some hot chocolate. Make sure you know what nuts or seeds you’re collecting, before eating them.  

Wild fruit: With the autumnal abundance, wildlife around the country is enjoying the tree and hedgerow larders, as they become full of fruit. Keep your eyes open for blackberries, wild strawberries, plums, apples, raspberries and much more. If you forage, make sure to forage responsibly and leave enough for wildlife so they can eat enough to keep warm over the winter.

Colourful autumn leaves: in September, the leaves on trees start to turn a vibrant array of oranges, reds, purples, browns and pinks before they start to fall to the floor to create that amazing golden autumn carpet we all love to play in. See if you can start to notice which trees are changing colours, and maybe even make a log of what type of tree they are.

Spider webs: In the morning mist, keep an eye out for beautiful spider webs carefully crafted in hedgerows, trees and other small spaces. If you catch a spider at work, see if you can watch how they spin their web. You could even try drawing a spider’s web after to see if you can make one with such amazing design and balance.  

We’ll be looking out for all of these signs of autumn at our sessions this term, so come out and see us! My Wild Child sessions for under-fives run during term time on Wednesdays at The Bommie – Knowle, Thursdays at St George Park and at Feed Bristol on Friday mornings. To find out more about My Wild Child, and how you can join the sessions visit our website.

The Wildlife Watch website has some great tips about what to look out for and autumn activities to enjoy as a family: wildlifewatch.org.uk/.

The Avon Wildlife Trust earning team also run Wildlife Watch Clubs for 5-10 year olds so if you have slightly older children, who enjoy spending time in nature visit: avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-watch

Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting our work with children and families in Bristol.