If you go down to the woods today – take an explorer’s pack

Families will be able to download fabulous facts for foraging and exploring woodlands where they live as part of a fantastic initiative.

The ‘Woodland explorer’ pack has just been launched and features facts on how to explore woodlands using fun wildlife investigations and craft activities.

It includes guides to identifying flora and fauna in our woods as well as bugs and slugs and advice on where the woods are and how to get started with wildlife adventures.

The pack has been put together by Plymouth Woodland Project, in partnership with the Friends of Radford Woods and Friends of Ham Woods.

Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport and Planning, Councillor Mark Coker said: “This is a lovely scheme. As a council we are really keen to see people – especially young people – out in the fresh air and learning about their environment. We’ve got lots of woodland here in Plymouth but I’m sure many adults as well as children might struggle to identity particular trees or plants.

Plymouth Woodland Project Coordinator Alison Smith said: “We want this pack to spark curiosity in families across the city. The schools are doing some incredible work and we want families to get involved and get mucky in the woods with their children. It’s a fantastic place to play as well as learn and we hope this pack will give mums and dads and carers a bit of help to make the most of it.”

The partnership has also launched an educational pack to help schools learn about the out their local woods. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Woodland Education Pack (for schools) and Woodland Explorer Pack (for families) are free resources, full of activities to help people you get up close to wildlife and explore nature of their doorstep.

The school pack includes curriculum-linked activities for science, literacy and art, with ideas for key stages 1-4. Schools can also use the packs for investigations of their local woods, and contribute to real scientific research by surveying plants and mini-beast habitats.
To help families get into the swing of exploring their woods, a series of events is running every day during half term from 11am to 2pm.
•  Monday 26 October Woodland Wood
• Tuesday 27 October Woodland Wood
• Wednesday 28 October Radford Woods
• Friday 30 October. Radford Woods
• Sunday 1 November Efford Marsh
The Council and its partners has put together lot of events mainly over half term as part of its Make A Difference programme.
Other Autumn activities include:
• All Ways Apples Festival, Devonport Guildhall, Wednesday 28 October 11am to 4pm
• Xplorer orienteering with British Orienteering Monday 26 and Saturday 31 October.
• Apple pressing Tuesday 27 October.
• Woodcraft and weaving Thursday 29 October
To download an Explorer Pack visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/naturereserves
To download a leaflet of what’s on where, what to wear and who to contact visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/parksnatureevents