25 July 2019

The Little Ones are global adventurers at WWT Slimbridge (With Fearne and Rory from Cbeebies!)

If we ask the Little ones if they fancy a trip to Slimbridge they always say 'Yes', Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands is not far from us, we are paid up members and visit throughout the year. Pretty much every school holiday there is something different to entertain the children, we have been wildlife explorers, searched for giant LEGO animals, entered the puddle jumping championships several years running, we have been to burn off steam in the winter and cool off in Wellyboot land in the summer.

This summer is no different, this season you and your Little Ones can be global adventurers at Slimbridge, we were invited along on the opening day to see the unveiling of a new exhibit and to see what we thought of this years activities.

On arrival we checked out the map and headed to the South Lake discovery hut to pick up our global adventurer passports. It was lovely to see the hut there set up like a cabin, a trunk, coats, tables, chairs and camping equipment as if an actual adventurer was based there. The Little Ones located the passports and stamped their first page before checking out the list of activities. First up was an all time favourite- den building.

The Little Ones have become somewhat pros at den building, we have done this several times at Slimbridge and with Rainbows, Brownies and on our own walks too sometimes, it wasn't long before a super shelter had been built and an obligatory photograph was needed to celebrate the event- den building, done.

Slimbridge is set up with different lands or habitats for the different species of birds and wildlife that reside there, the global adventure passport sends you around the centre visiting the different areas and getting stamps along the way for having a go at the challenges in the book. There are various things on in different places at different times from otter talks, pond dipping and wild safaris along the river (additional charge), we decided what we wanted to see at what time and set off....

Our next stop was North America, we played in the wigwams and got out our pencils to complete the activity in our passports- to draw our own totem pole, then it was time to have a snack whilst we listened to animal stories.

With passports stamped we made our way to the new Arctic Tundra exhibit ready for the grand opening with none other than Fearne and Rory from Cbeebies, Little 2 was rather excited as she still watches it sometimes and was keen to meet them.

The new Arctic adventure exhibit is designed to show what life was like for a real adventurer in the Arctic Russian Tundra, imagine a three day journey to get to a hut buried right up to the top with snow and then living with hoards of mosquitos on tinned fish for several months!

We Listened as Fearne and Rory opened the exhibit and the girls were pleased to get to meet and chat to them (Little 3 went all shy), posing for some photos along the way. Head over to the Slimbridge website to see if you can spot us on there!

We then took some time to explore the activities on offer. Inside the hut, which is set up as if it had come right from the Arctic, there were replics and photographs, pretend food that the explorers might have eaten where you can make your own meal to log in your passport.... 

... plant and poo (yes, you read that right) analysis... just what do swans eat?

... dressing up in real adventurer gear.... 

... the opportunity to measure, weigh and record the life size swan replica and see if you can work out the word written in your global adventurers passport using the Russian Cryllic alphabet.

Another stamp in our passports and we headed off to lunch in the kingfisher kitchen.  When we come to Slimbridge on a normal day we usually bring our own lunch and picnic, sometimes in welly boot land while the little ones paddle or often in the sandy play area down the far end of the reserve. When we pop in for a quick afternoon visit we often have a mid afternoon treat, I recommend the hot chocolate on a cold day or a yummy ice cream from one of the kiosks when the weather is nice. 

This time we decided to have a cooked lunch as everyone was starving, Daddy demolished the fish and chips while I enjoyed the hearty soup with a huge onion roll the Little Ones had to help me eat and the Kids lunchboxes went down a treat with the children.

All fueled up we went off to continue our adventures, the Little Ones wanted to go canoeing again as they enjoyed it so much last summer but we had so much still to do we promised we would come back again and do that later this summer instead.

Another new thing this summer is the Greater flamingo talk, Little 1 loves flamingos (did you notice her t-shirt?) which is on at 2.30pm each day, determined to find out more about her favourite animal we went along to listen.

We found out why flamingos are pink, saw a replica flamingo skull and realised why the flamingo pen is a bit pongy! A lovely addition Slimbridge, the whole family enjoyed it.

Another passport stamp and time to head back up to the centre for the amphibian talk and a good long look at all the colourful frogs that Little 3 likes so much, a bit of colouring for the girls and a romp in the mini soft play for Little 3 before suddenly realising that it was time for pond dipping.

The Little Ones each had a tray, magnifying glass, a net and an identification sheet and set themselves up at the raised ponds to see what they could find. Little 3 and Daddy had the best pond, they found sticklebacks, dragonfly nymph, water boat men and lots of snails. The girls found mainly snails and mosquito larvae.

What I love most about Slimbridge is no visit is ever the same, this time around we didn't even venture down to the play area or see the otters or stop for a paddle in welly boot land. There is so much to do, one of the reasons we are members and come back time after time and throughout all the seasons. I do love the summer at the reserve though there is so much insect life to see, I managed to snap this butterfly sunning himself .

And can you see the bumble bee in this photo? that yellow sac on his leg is a huge bundle of pollen just waiting to do it's job. I was pretty happy to snap that shot.

We mustn't forget the birds though, this visit we didn't feed the birds and were more interested in completing the challenges than exploring all the ponds but we did still admire the swans, ogle at the last remaining Spring babies and spend time at all the flamingo enclosures.

There really is so much to see and do at WWT Slimbridge, what will be your favourite?

N.B We were invited to the Tundra exhibit opening ceremony and given a voucher towards part of our lunch in return for this post, BUT we are paying Slimbridge members and DO really love it there.

1 comment:

  1. This like such a full and fun day sarah. My girls would love it there c


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