Summer workshops connect Crook families with wildlife

The Trust has been working in partnership with The Salvation Army in Crook to deliver a series of free family-friendly wildlife-focused activities during the Summer holidays.

The programme started with three half-day sessions at The Salvation Army’s base in the town, during which the Trust’s Education Leaders built up a relationship with the families and took them out to explore wildlife around where they live.

The interactive sessions were designed to introduce the participants to local wildlife and what to look out for in their local ‘wild spaces’ such as the park, their gardens and at nature reserves like the Trust’s Low Barns Nature Reserve, near Witton-le-Wear.

Dorina Kealoha, Engagement Officer for Durham Wildlife Trust, said: “Our aim is to increase the children’s and adults’ awareness and knowledge about nature and give them the confidence to go out, enjoy and experience local wild places. We hope the children will enjoy being outside and have quality family time together.

“The sessions include wildlife crafts with something for the children to take home to share with their family and talk about what they can do locally to encourage wildlife. Families will be exploring and learning about ‘terrific trees’, ‘brilliant bees and butterflies’ and ‘wonderful wildflowers’ among other things.”

The initial sessions were followed by two full day trips to Low Barns Nature Reserve and Derwent Reservoir during which the families could explore these different nature reserves, discovering and learning about wildlife and different habitats on the sites and take part in interactive activities and games to help them spot and identify wildlife, such as pond dipping, meadow sweeps, visiting the bird hides, listening to sounds in nature plus doing craft activities along with spending time in the play area at Derwent Reservoir.

Funding provided by the 3 Towns Area Action Partnership covered staff time and mileage costs, resources and transport to take the families between Crook and the different nature reserves. Lunch was provided at all the sessions with funding secured by The Salvation Army from the 3 Towns Partnership.

Sandy Denney 3 Towns Partnership Coordinator said: “We are really pleased to fund this project as part of our wider programme of activities for children, young people and families across the 3 Towns area this summer, giving children and their families the opportunity to get outside together; enjoy nature, have fun and learn about what they can do to encourage wildlife in their own area.”

Paula Gray Community Programme Coordinator at Crook Salvation Army said: “It is a good opportunity for local families to spend quality time together learning about the wildlife on their doorsteps.”