Come on kids, we're all going on a bear hunt...
Last week I led some children on a bear hunt – well almost. I was working at Kings Weston Estate for the Kings Weston Action Group supported by Lucy Gaze from the Bristol Natural History Consortium.
The Action Group put on a free two-day event for schools inviting lots of pupils from around the area to take part.
I led a number of wildlife walks around the estate during the two days. And more than 150 primary school pupils had the opportunity to play "nature detectives".
We set up a laboratory inside Kings Weston house so the children could look through microscopes at bugs and things they had collected from their nature walks.
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I also invited along David from "Owl Occasions" who brought along a barn owl so the children could see a real one up close.
We also set up lots of other activities including clay modelling and leaf rubbing.
It was so exciting for the children to see the barn owl as it's not very often any of us gets the chance to see a "real" one.
David told us how owls move their heads to look around as we humans do.
As he got the owl out from its box there was a gasp of excitement from all the children.
Penny from KWAG, Lucy and I led another group around the estate.
The children decided to see how many of them could squeeze into a small muddy puddle. They jumped up and down, splashing mud everywhere.
It was so funny because they were so content playing with a muddy puddle splashing "sloshy mud stuff" as they described it.
But then I said: "Come on, let's go and explore in the woods but keep your eyes peeled for the bear that lives there."
All of a sudden the children came to a standstill and looked at me and asked "Bear? What bear?"
"A big wild bear," I replied.
"It lives in these woods so stay close to an adult so we can make sure it doesn't come and eat you all up."
That is always a great way of ensuring that no one wanders off too far from adult supervision.
The children had a great time collecting different shapes and coloured leaves to take back with them to the main house for leaf art class.
We walked back into our room the children who were playing "nature detectives" and were bursting with excitement to show adults what they had discovered.
If you would like to book me for an event or find out what events are currently on please visit www.steveengland.co.uk or follow me on twitter @steveengland300
Steve England is an (RHS) horticulturist, amateur naturalist and chairman of the Stoke Park steering group. He lives in Lockleaze and has spent his whole life at Stoke Park from playing there as a boy to studying its history, wildlife, and pre historic past. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org