Wyre Forest Watch turns 30

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Children looking at a great titBreakfast with birds

Following a bee, building a den, picking an apple, catching a falling leaf and holding a bird in the hand – just a few of the ways that members of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s Wyre Forest Watch club will be celebrating their 30th birthday.

The club, recently awarded Highly Commended in the national Watch Group of the Year 2016 awards, meets on the second Sunday of each month at the Wyre Forest Discovery Centre. Families take part in wildlife-themed activities from creating minibeast penthouses to survival skills.

Mary Bendall, one of the leaders of the group, explained “It’s fantastic that our group is still going strong after 30 years; it just goes to show how much children love getting up close with nature.

“To celebrate our birthday, we’re challenging all our group members to do 30 wildlife related activities – from blowing a grass trumpet or going for a walk in the dark to photographing a minibeast or balancing on a fallen tree.

“All of the 30 challenges can be done at our meetings but, of course, we always encourage our members to get up close with the natural world as often as they can.”

From rare fungus to playing games

Wyre Forest Watch bonfireThe club was established by Wyre Forest naturalist, author and ex-teacher Rosemary Winnall in 1987. Wyre Forest Watch members have been involved with improving wildlife habitats within the Wyre Forest as well finding rare fungus, surveying wildlife and playing games to help them understand more about the natural world.

Leader Chris Doncaster said “Last year we had a ‘hammering’ good time making bird boxes, made charcoal on a fire, went on a night time bat walk, visited a beautiful nature reserve where we dipped the stream, as well as creating new habitat for wildlife in the Wyre Forest by burning brash on a big bonfire!

“We hope that the group provides families with the opportunity to discover more about our wonderful wildlife in a fun and exciting way.

“At least two of our former members have gone on to have careers in conservation so as well as being great fun our activities also provide a really good grounding for the future.

“New families are always welcome to join our growing and friendly group – we hope there’ll still be a Wyre Forest Watch in another 30 years!”

The next meeting of the Wyre Forest Watch group is on the morning of Sunday 12th March at the Wyre Forest Discovery Centre, when the club will be having ‘Breakfast with the Birds’. This special morning meeting (most meetings are in the afternoon) will see bird ringers from the British Trust for Ornithology come along and allow the Wildlife Watch members to get up close with some of our most loved birds.

Attending the club meetings costs just £1.50 per child per month (Forestry Commission car park charges apply). Activities are aimed at 7 to 13 year olds but younger or older children are welcome by arrangement. No dogs at meetings please and booking is essential as activities are weather dependant and last minute changes may be necessary.

For more information about forthcoming Wyre Forest Wildlife Watch events and to book a place, email Chris Doncaster  

Visit our Wildlife Watch pages for more information about monthly meetings of both Wyre Forest Watch and Club WOW, based at Lower Smite Farm between Worcester and Droitwich Spa.