Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum to run new nature activity sessions especially for children under 5s from this spring.
Project Green Child, begun in 2017 by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, initially ran Nature Tots sessions at Queenswood for just a limited number of families from Leominster. These sessions were funded by Leominster Community Connect fund and the Pippin Trust. The aim for this group was to provide access and support to toddlers and their parents who might otherwise struggle to get outside and engage with nature and was to specifically work with under 5-s with delayed development, working in partnership with Leominster Children’s Centre.
Now the weekly sessions will be opened up to all and will run throughout term times from 17th April. As well as being great fun, Nature Tots sessions support children’s development in speech and language, motor skills, and social and emotional skills. It also introduces simple practical skills, such cooking on a campfire, tying knots and incorporating natural materials into activities such as craft and cooking. The sessions also help to foster a love and appreciation for local wildlife – in both the children and the parents!
This month the Pippin Trust have also announced that they will continue to fund transport to Queenswood for some of the families originally supported by the scheme for a further year.
Project co-ordinator Katrina Preston commented: “These sessions are such a joy to lead. We have seen a notable improvement in children’s development for those children regularly attending sessions, and, most importantly, they have a great time playing outdoors and engaging with nature. It can be hard work for parents to plan outdoor experiences into their days but coming to these sessions makes it that bit easier – we hope it will continue to inspire them to find time to play outside and learn about nature as a family outside of the sessions too. Parents attending the group are building up support networks, encouraging each other to meet up outside of the group to go on nature walks or to meet at the local park for more outdoor play time.”
A new Nature Tots playground was also recently unveiled at Queenswood – an area within the woodland playground with a natural play structure suited to children under 5. This has proved incredibly popular with visiting families as staff at the site commented: “It was covered in mud from day one – a sure sign it’s been getting a lot of use!”
Nature Tots will run weekly during term times but places are limited so advance booking is essential: see our ‘What’s On’ pages.
For older children, Queenswood runs Adventure Club and Get Crafty sessions in school holidays and half-terms as well as other events.