Why Don’t You?

They’re here again, the school summer holidays. To help you plan the remaining five weeks I thought I’d suggest a few activities close to home, and for just a few £s.
I’ve taken a look at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s events, the National Trust sites locally and then a selection from the website Visitchesterfield. Whatever you do, enjoy the time and have a great summer.

Wildplay Friday | Mysterious mini worlds
Friday 17, 24 & 31 August 2018
No need to book – just drop in!
Enjoy a wild summer holiday learning all about nature!
Join Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT) every Friday at The Whistlestop Centre for nature themed days of games, activities, crafts and trails for families.
Whistlestop Classroom, Whistlestop Centre, Matlock Bath Railway Station, Matlock Bath, DE4 3PT
11am – 3pm drop in.
£4 for everything or pay as you go.
Suitable for children aged 0 – 15 and families.

Wild Wednesday
Wednesday 15, 22 & 29 August 2018
No need to book – just drop in.
Wednesday at Carsington Water, DWT have wild play activities, crafts and trails for families to join in with together. A different theme and related activities each week you will be sure to learn and discover lots of exciting new facts about nature.
From pond dipping to making mini dens, sweep netting to cooking on the camp fire, there is plenty to keep the kids outdoors, interested and wild all summer.
Wildlife Discovery Room, Carsington Water Visitor Centre, Ashbourne, DE6 1ST
11am – 3pm drop in.
£4 for everything or pay as you go.
Parking at the visitor centre £3 two hours or £5 all day
Suitable for children aged 0 – 15 and families.

Family Forest Fun
Thursday 16, 23 & 30 August 2018
Call or email to book your space.
Join DWT for a Family Forest School session in the woods at Miller’s Dale.
During the session activities will include learning to build dens, taking part in imaginative play, arts and crafts as well as using tools and learning how to light fires to cook on them. Please wear suitable clothing for the weather.
Miller’s Dale Quarry, Just off the Monsal Trail. Wye Valley Miller’s Dale car park, SK17 8SN.
10.30am until 12.30pm
Make a donation.
Suitable for Families and Children.

Wild Wednesday | Evening bat walk
Wednesday 29 August 2018
Call or email to book your space.
Join DWT to celebrate the end of summer with an evening bat walk at Carsington Water.
There will be crafts and quizzes in the Wildlife Discovery Room followed by a walk around Stones Island with bat detectors.
Wildlife Discovery Room, Carsington Water Visitor Centre, Ashbourne, DE6 1ST
7.30pm – 10pm
£4 per person.
Suitable for Families and Children.
For info and booking at all DWT events call: 01773 881188 or email: enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk

The top picnic spots from the National Trust in Derbyshire
Whether it’s a family day out or a gathering of friends, here are a few of the National Trust’s local picnic spots for us to enjoy this season.

Hardwick Hall
There are lots of different nooks and crannies around the park and gardens to picnic in.

  • Upper Park just before you enter Park Piece on the Oak walk – it’s a really peaceful spot in which to relax.
  • Lady Spencer’s Walk, just a little bit further along from the woodland play trail.
  • The orchard in the garden is a great place to lay your picnic blanket.
  • Down by the Ponds, a peaceful spot, home to lots of wildlife and a great view back up to the House.
  • The Stableyard has a good selection of picnic benches and if you’re looking for shade or shelter, the Cart Shed is a perfect place to enjoy your lunch.
  • Find a space near the restored Duck Decoy in Lower Park.

Longshaw Estate
If you’ve got a hamper that’s too heavy to carry far, wander down from Woodcroft car park and settle down in the meadow on the right, near the Moorland Discovery Centre. There’s an array of boulders that double up as natural tables and plenty of space to spread out your picnic blankets.

There’s space on the grass outside the tea room to enjoy your picnic and perhaps round it off with a proper coffee or slice of fresh cake?

A short walk from the tea room, (about 500 metres) following the pink waymarkers, you’ll arrive at the pond and on the way Longshaw’s natural play trail.

If you fancy a bit more activity, the area is covered with a maze of footpaths. Three waymarked walks, all start from outside the tea room – follow the coloured arrows. Pick up a leaflet from the car park or tea room, the walks are marked on a map inside the leaflet and many are buggy and wheelchair friendly.

Be sure to pick up a Boggart Trail map from the shop, look out for boggarts and stop off at natural play places like Boggart rise and Boggart burrow.

The National Trust have produced a leaflet outlining 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ – pick one up and keep the kids busy through the summer.


Words: Paul Chapman
Images: Courtesy of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust & Visit Chesterfield.