Northumberland Wildlife Trust
Tucked away in the grounds of St Nicholas hospital in Gosforth lies the HQ of Northumberland Wildlife Trust. If you didn’t know it was there it’s unlikely you would have passed its so well hidden down a single track just past the Post Office Depot where I’ve collected many a missed parcel. The trust runs a variety of educational talks aimed at preserving the Northumberland wildlife both at the centre and through outreach activities running through the region. The team were happy to run the session for the Rainbows and Brownies for a donation of £50 per hourly session which I think is a great deal. In the grounds of the HQ is a woodland, nature garden, play park and pond. The phrase maybe a bit overused but it really is a hidden gem. You wouldn’t expect to find such a lovely site in the middle of a built up area surrounded by houses and office blocks. The grounds are free and open to the public so if you live in the area check it out.
Rain, rain go away
Unfortunately, as you will see on the photographs it was an awful night with torrential rain, but we wouldn’t let it beat us! Guiding spirit and all that. Wellies and waterproofs on and we were ready to meet the rest of the gang and were introduced to the staff members Lauren and Tracey. First up a few running round games to get the girls thinking about the types of bugs and pond life we would be identifying.
The girls were given nets and tubs with pond water in and were shown how to pond dip using the figure of eight motion. We found sticklebacks, tadpoles, pond-skaters, leeches and a full size frog ( who was very keen to hop back to the pond unsurprisingly) there was plenty of mud put in the tubs too.
Heading into the woodland area armed with magnifying glasses, tubs and brushes the girls were asked to look for bugs and attempt to identify them using the spotting guide. Millipedes and centipede were spotted along with a few spiders.
The session finished with another fun game of true or false. Who knew that tadpoles eat each other??
Soaked to the skin parents arrived to clock the girls! I was well ready for a vino and a hot bath!