Over the Easter holiday, we put on a variety of nature events that anyone, but especially families, could come along to. We are very pleased with the results and shall certainly do our best to build on this success to make next year’s Easter even better. Big thanks go to everyone who helped out or took part! We hope that everyone enjoyed them as much as we did and will come back to St Nicks again in the future – whether for an event, to volunteer or just for a stroll and a cup of tea. All are always welcome. Here is a quick summary and a few pictures:
Easter Egg Hunt & Crafts 12th April
We were a bit overwhelmed but delighted to welcome 86 children during the busy afternoon! They had a great time searching for colourful tokens to swap for a fairtrade chocolate* or fruit prize provided by Hungate York Regeneration. The company’s Community Liaison Manager Steven Graham had to keep running out of the Environment Centre to replace the tokens spread across five areas, which encouraged hunters to explore the nature reserve. Meanwhile our Eco-Crafters were busy helping children make their own Easter crafts and others enjoyed pond dipping or refreshments.
* Thanks to readers who pointed out that Cadbury is not part of the official Fairtrade certification scheme anymore. It does however have its own which works alongside the Fairtrade Foundation. It’s up to fellow chocolate lovers now to hold the company to account and make sure that it does deliver on its promise to do more for cocoa farmers.
Pond Life at Derwenthorpe 12th April
Those who joined in our pond dipping session were able to see a few of the weird and wonderful aquatic creatures that dwell within the water. This included mayfly and damselfly larvae, water boatmen, snails, stickleback fish, water beetles, freshwater shrimp and much more! With such a wide variety of life in the pond, we hope to do another pond dipping session in the future to see what other species we can discover living at the bottom. Keep an eye out for Derwenthorpe Wildwatch events to find out when we will hold the next exploration of the Derwenthorpe waters!
Hedgehog Day 19th April
Leading up to ‘Hedgehog Awareness Week’ our day included a talk from Toni Bunnell, local hedgehog rescue and care expert, who told us about the plight of hedgehogs and what we can do to help. We then checked our mammal tunnels to see if we could spot any hedgehog footprints. Though we didn’t get hedgehog prints on the day, we did find them earlier in the week so we know they’re here! Once the surveying was complete, we had a look for suitable hedgehog habitats and built some hedgehog homes. We did this using logs, twigs, leaves and anything else we could find naturally occurring on the floor of our woodland that might offer some shelter to a spiny wanderer. Alongside all of this we also had loads of hedgehog themed crafts and activities going on at our Environment Centre, with ‘guess how many spines are on the hedgehog, hedgehog painting, creating a hedgehog using hand prints, activity sheets and even making your own hedgehog model. This was a great event and one we hope to repeat in the future!
Eco-Active Day: Wildflower Sowing and Planting 20th April
The group worked on the bank of Osbaldwick beck, and have now planted and sown a variety of wetland wildflower species. This area will look stunning once the seed and plants have established and flowered. It will attract pollinators and other invertebrates while providing a few extra snacks for our water vole population.